And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Athletics 8, Twins 3: These guys just wear you out. Yoenis Cespedes, Brandon Moss, Derek Norris, Jed Lowrie. Just no real breaks and they all just grind on you. Kind of like those 90s Yankees teams in a lot of ways. Not the big-bopping bombers of the A-Rod years, but the Bernie/Tino Martinez/Scott Brosius Yankees. When you look at them and say “OK, I should be able to get these guys out,” but you just can’t because no one in the lineup is an easy out.

Angels 9, Astros 1: Child’s play for C.J. Wilson, who gave up one run in eight innings. Raul Ibanez drove in three. Basically, he and LaTroy Hawkins have to keep on doing what they’re doing, because they’re older than me and as long as there are dudes older than me still making it work as major leaguers I won’t be old yet. I tell myself.

Yankees 4, Orioles 2: Hiroki Kuroda was sharp. Jeter loafed, but he’s Jeter, so we’ll let that slide.

Cardinals 5, Reds 3: A good outing from Michael Wacha and a three-run double from Yadier Molina in the first made for a good home opener. Not to pick on him because there were many failures by the Reds here, but it’s worth noting that Billy Hamilton: leadoff man is not getting off to a great start for the Reds. He’s got an OBP of .111 so far. He can steal second and third at will, but he can’t steal first.

Red Sox 5, Rangers 1: This “John Lackey is a good pitcher” thing is lasting into another season, apparently. Good for him. One unearned run was all he allowed while Jackie Bradley, Jr. Mike Napoli and A.J. Pierzynski each had three hits. Both of these teams are 3-4. I had them down as my ALCS matchup, so really guys, get on the stick.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $35,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Tuesday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $6,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on TuesdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Royals 4, Rays 2: Jason Vargas: one run over eight. That one run came in the ninth, though, as he gave up a homer to Ben Zobrist to lead things off and then was quickly replaced by Greg Holland. Who gave up a run of his own, actually, which is crazy given that he throws freakin’ napalm.

Rockies 8, White Sox 1: Jordan Lyles went 3 for 3 with a couple of RBIs. Oh, and he pitched a little too, allowing one run in six and two-thirds. The rest of the Rockies didn’t really need to show up.

Padres vs. Indians: POSTPONED; Brewers v. Phillies: POSTPONED:  Yesterday marked the 40th anniversary of the release of my favorite movie of all time. Like, favorite by a long shot and it ain’t even close. In honor of that — and in honor of two rainouts — I provide you with a picture of its protagonist wearing a raincoat:

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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: