If the 2020 Major League Baseball season is going to happen, the players and the owners have to come to some sort of an agreement pretty soon. Starting any later than Aug. 1 probably means the season is ruined and we're getting to the point that starting much before that is off the table if any more weeks go by without a deal.
As such, perhaps there is starting to be some urgency?
The owners are having a conference call on Monday to discuss going back to the players with plans on how to get the season going, reports Charles Gasparino of Fox Business.
Previously, the owners rejected the players' proposal of a 114-game season with player salaries being paid on a pro-rated basis. The owners countered by finally agreeing to pro-rated salaries -- they previously had balked at this with the plan involving no fans at games -- though they reportedly only want to play somewhere in the range of 40-60 games.
The players, for their part, continue to hold fast that they will not accept less than pro-rated salaries. The only leverage they have left if the owners try to push through a 50-game season is rejecting expanded playoffs -- which the owners desperately want for those almighty TV dollars.
There's going to have to be some give on both sides. We know the players want at least a half season. The owners don't. Perhaps they end up somewhere in the ballpark of 70 games with expanded playoffs. Hopefully both sides realize the long-term health of the game is at stake and they cannot cancel the season in the midst of everything going on in this country right now.
On that front, the latest report that the owners are having a conference call on Monday seems occasion for cautious optimism.