It is always about the money.
Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred is trying to get some public support for his side in saying that it is not us that isn’t negotiating in good faith in trying to get a new player development agreement with Minor League Baseball. Manfred said it is the Minor League operators who are at fault because they don’t want to talk about upgrading facilities and other issues. Major League Baseball has proposed contracting 42 minor league teams. Manfred needs to be careful here talking about stadium upgrades because individual minor league team owners have to go to politicians hat in hand begging for money to upgrade stadiums to Major League Baseball standards. Whatever those standards are and funds for upgrades come from taxpayers’ pockets. Manfred also knows that some politicians are not happy with Major League Baseball’s take it or leave it stance although Manfred claims it is the Minor League negotiators who have adopted that negotiating tactic.
“I think some of the activities that have been undertaken by the leadership of Minor League Baseball have been polarizing in terms of the relationship with the owners,” Manfred said. “I think they’ve done damage to the relationship with Major League Baseball, and I’m hopeful that we will be able to work through that damage in the negotiating room and reach a new agreement. You know, when people publicly attack a long-time partner after they’ve committed to confidentiality in the negotiating process, usually people don’t feel so good about that.” The dispute is about money. It is estimated that Major League Baseball owners can save about $20 million annually by eliminating minor league teams. The owners also want to have the players draft in August which would eliminate the need for short season leagues. It seems rather foolish that baseball owners would want to alienate fans by eliminating a source of local entertainment but money talks.