Money May Get In The Way Of MLB’s Path To The Diamond

Money, that’s what I want.

As attempts to contain the spread of COVID-19 continue with state governors extending stay at home orders, Major League Baseball and other sports leagues and businesses in North America continue to explore the possibility of getting their product before the public. The PGA has released a tournament schedule beginning in June. Major League Baseball owners have thought about playing regular season games at spring training facilities in Arizona in a sterile fanless environment. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey would welcome the MLB Arizona plan when scientists and the medical specialists think the state has contained the spread of COVID-19.

But there may be another major hurdle in executing the Arizona plan. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo while talking on a CNN show to his brother Chris said he discussed the possibility of having MLB up and going with New York Mets COO Jeff Wilpon and Wilpon mentioned that the economics of MLB would have to be reset so that the owners would be able to manage major money losses. There seems to be a disaster clause in the MLB-Players Association collective bargaining agreement that covers how to handle players’ salaries if games take place without people in the stands and the loss of in-stadium revenue. But the owners also claim another CBA clause gives them the right to discuss salary adjustments. “The Commissioner determines, after consultation with recognized medical experts and the Players Association, that it does not pose an unreasonable health and safety risk to players, staff, or spectators to stage games in front of fans in each of the 30 Clubs’ home ballparks; provided that, the Office of the Commissioner and Players Association will discuss in good faith the economic feasibility of playing games in the absence of spectators or at appropriate substitute neutral sites.” It is always about the money.

. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan, File)