And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Nationals 8, Marlins 4: Bryce Harper hit two homers, bro. Jacob Turner: not really ready for the major leagues yet, bro.

Mets 3, Phillies 2: Matt Harvey continues to impress (6.1 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 6K). The Phillies pitcher is listed in the box score is named “Tyler Cloyd.” I’m calling b.s.  That’s a name you desperately reach for when you’re trying to pretend to be someone else but didn’t really think ahead.

Royals 1, Tigers 0: Look, it’s pretty simple: if you have pretensions of the playoffs, you beat the Royals when your ace is going like the Tigers didn’t do on Tuesday night. And you don’t get shut the hell out by Bruce Chen for eight innings either.

Pirates 5, Cardinals 0: We’re all sitting around here waiting for the Pirates to keel over and die and then they go and take two of three from the guys they’re chasing. Coming up: a lot of games against the Cubs and Astros. The wild card race is getting wild.

Padres 8, Braves 2: Tuesday night was just a blip, it seems. The Padres win their ninth of ten. Eric Stultz allowed no earned runs over six.

White Sox 8, Orioles 1: Joe Saunders, amazingly, wasn’t an immediate boon to the O’s rotation. Their recent pickup allowed ten hits and seven runs over five and a third.

Reds 6, Diamondbacks 2: Chris Heisey smacked two homers as the NL’s best team sweeps the snakes.

Blues Jays 8, Yankees 5: Yunel Escobar had the big day. The Yankees looked sloppy and stranded runners. I know the real issue here is getting everyone healthy, but really, they’re playing bad baseball at the moment regardless.

Rays 8, Rangers 4: Two homers for Evan Longoria. More like Even Longballia, amirite?

Athletics 8, Indians 4: I spent an hour yesterday telling people that the A’s and Rays’ offenses suck and how they won’t go far in the playoffs because of it. Nothing you can say about baseball lasts more than a day.

Brewers 3, Cubs 1: Sometimes I look at the box score and just can tell that the game was no fun to watch. Like when three of the game’s four runs were scored on two groundouts and a play on which there were two throwing errors.

Dodgers 10, Rockies 8: A.J. Ellis’ grand slam in the eighth seemed like gravy, as it stretched a five-run lead into a nine run lead, but the Dodgers ended up needing it as they withstood a seven run rally by Colorado in the bottom of the inning.

Twins 10, Mariners 0: Trevor Plouffe doubled in a couple and hit a two-run homer. But really, everyone in Minnesota got into the act.

Giants 6, Astros 4: You’d think Hunter Pence would be nice to the Astros seeing as how they gave him his freedom from having to play for them and everything. But no, he’s an ingrate and hit a three-run homer off of them. It was his fourth homer against Houston in the seven games he’s played against them since departing.

Angels 10, Red Sox 3: Kendrys Morales and Chris Iannetta hit homers and C.J. Wilson won for the first time in 11 tries.

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: