And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Mets 6, Phillies 5: The R.A. Dickey vs. Cole Hamels matchup didn’t pan out as some expected, but David Wright took care of things, going 3 for 5 with four RBI including the game winner.

Cardinals 6, Rockies 2: Lance Lynn had been skidding but the Rockies cured his ills. The Rockies cure everyone’s ills. Six shutout innings for Lynn and his 11th win.

Braves 7, Cubs 3: Brian McCann and Jason Heyward homer, helping the Braves salvage the split. I think if they dropped this one I would have launched my annual “teams I’d root for if I didn’t root for the Braves” post, but they’ve got a reprieve.

Pirates 2, Astros 0: You can say the Pirates recent hot streak is courtesy of playing four games against the Rockies. Or you can say that they’re a team winning the games they’re supposed to win. Doesn’t matter: they’re still in first place. Jeff Karstens threw eight shutout innings fanning eight.

Royals 9, Blue Jays 6: Eric Hosmer had three RBI and Luke Hochevar pitched well but had to leave early due to sprained ankle he sustained while covering first base. That’s it. Tomorrow, pitcher fielding practice for everyone. Oh, wait, no. None of that. That’s how Hochevar got hurt in the first place.

Dodgers 4, Diamondbacks 1: Is it bad that I had never heard of Nate Eovaldi before I read this box score? Hell, I can’t know everything. He won for the Dodgers, though, giving up one run in six innings.

Indians 3, Rays 1: Tampa Bay continues to slide. They’ve lost eight of ten. The Indians have won six of eight. And yes, these are bogus uneven data sets. Do what I wanna do.

Nationals 6, Giants 5: The Nats win on a walkoff … um, botched double play. Adam LaRoche should have been out and the game should have headed to extras when he hit a bases loaded one out grounder to short in the ninth. But Brandon Crawford threw low to first, LaRoche was safe, the run scored and the Nats had a sweep of the Giants.

Marlins 4, Brewers 0: Mark Buehrle threw seven and two-thirds shutout innings and Carlos Lee went 2 for 4 in his Miami debut.

White Sox 2, Rangers 1: Kevin Youkilis hit the go-ahead homer in the sixth. That trade is working out so far.

Tigers 7, Twins 3: A three-run homer in the eighth inning by Prince Fielder broke a tie that probably shouldn’t have been tie, except for the fact that the Twins couldn’t score despite having a boatload of base runners. Or, as my son calls it, a buttload. Either way, really.

Padres 2, Reds 1: Six straight wins for San Diego, and eight of 11, this one via a Evereth Cabrera bases loaded single in the bottom of the ninth. The game featured a matchup of pitchers in that big offseason trade: Mat Latos vs. Edinson Volquez. Both of them pitched fantastically.

Angels 9, Orioles 7: Garrett Richards and Jake Arrieta were each pretty dreadful and each were optioned back to Triple-A after the game. You don’t see that every day.

MLBPA: MLB’s ‘demand for additional concessions was resoundingly rejected’

Rob Manfred and Tony Clark
LG Patterson/MLB via Getty Images
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On Thursday evening, the Major League Baseball Players Association released a statement regarding ongoing negotiations between the owners and the union. The two sides continue to hash out details concerning a 2020 season. The owners want a shorter season, around 50 games. The union recently proposed a 114-game season that also offered the possibility of salary deferrals.

MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said that the union held a conference call that included the Executive Board and MLBPA player leaders. They “resoundingly rejected” the league’s “demand for additional concessions.”

The full statement:

In this time of unprecedented suffering at home and abroad, Players want nothing more than to get back to work and provide baseball fans with the game we all love. But we cannot do this alone.

Earlier this week, Major League Baseball communicated its intention to schedule a dramatically shortened 2020 season unless Players negotiate salary concessions. The concessions being sought are in addition to billions in Player salary reductions that have already been agreed upon.

This threat came in response to an Association proposal aimed at charting a path forward. Among other things, Players proposed more games, two years of expanded playoffs, salary deferrals in the event of a 2020 playoff cancellation, and the exploration of additional jewel events and broadcast enhancements aimed at creatively bringing our Players to the fans while simultaneously increasing the value of our product. Rather than engage, the league replied it will shorten the season unless Players agree to further salary reductions.

Earlier today we held a conference call of the Association’s Executive Board and several other MLBPA Player leaders. The overwhelming consensus of the Board is that Players are ready to report, ready to get back on the field, and they are willing to do so under unprecedented conditions that could affect the health and safety of not just themselves, but their families as well. The league’s demand for additional concessions was resoundingly rejected.

Important work remains to be done in order to safely resume the season. We stand ready to complete that work and look forward to getting back on the field.

As per the current agreement signed in March, if there is a 2020 season, players will be paid on a prorated basis. Thus, fewer games means the players get paid less and the owners save more. MLB has threatened to unilaterally set a 2020 season in motion if the two sides cannot come to terms. It should come as no surprise that the union has responded strongly on both fronts.

There have been varying reports in recent days over the confidence in a 2020 season happening. The MLBPA’s statement tonight doesn’t move the needle any; it simply affirms that the union remains steadfast in its goal to avoid a second significant cut in salaries.

As I see it, the ball is in the owners’ court. The owners can strongarm the players into a short season, saving money but significantly increasing the odds of a big fight in upcoming collective bargaining agreement negotiations. Or the owners can eat more of a financial loss, agreeing to a longer season than they feel is comfortable. The latter would have the double benefit of not damaging overall perception of the sport and would not disrupt labor peace going forward.

The MLBPA statement included a declaration that the players are “ready to report, ready to get back on the field, and they are willing to do so under unprecedented conditions.” If there is no 2020 season, we will have only the owners to blame, not the players.

Update: Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty, who has been quite vocal on social media about these negotiations, chimed in: