Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes is disappointed former teammate Ruben Tejada hasn’t secured the starting shortstop job with the Mets. According to Newsday’s Anthony Rieber, Reyes said “something’s wrong” with Tejada.
“Every time I talk to him, I try to give him some advice,” Reyes said. “What can I do? I try to push him to do stuff. I don’t know if he gets it or not . . . You have to work, man. When you’re younger, you think you have everything there for you. But if you do something wrong, it’s going to go away. Quick.
“When I was there, I always give a lot of advice to him . . . My last year there, every time I talk to him: ‘This is going to be your position for a long time. Don’t let it go away.’ See what happened now? It’s 2015 and he doesn’t have a position to play.”
Mets manager Terry Collins, one of the few who has defended the 25-year-old Tejada against a torrent of criticism, took no issue with the comments Reyes made, as Newsday’s Marc Carig reports. Collins said, “I think the world of Jose Reyes. Apparently, he may know something I don’t.” Collins may welcome the opportunity that an outside agitator might light a fire under Tejada.
Wilmer Flores, 23, is likely to open up the regular season at shortstop while Tejada watches from the bench. Flores posted a .664 OPS in 274 plate appearances last season, which was only marginally higher than the .652 mark Tejada put up in 419 plate appearances.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that Major League Baseball has rejected the MLBPA’s proposal for a 114-game season and said it would not send a counter offer. The league said it has started talks with owners “about playing a shorter season without fans, and that it is ready to discuss additional ideas with the union.”
This should be understood as a game of chicken.
The background here is that the the owners are pretty much locked into the idea of paying players a prorated share of their regular salaries based on number of games played. The players, meanwhile, are pretty much locked in to the idea that the owners can set the length of the season that is played. Each side is trying to leverage their power in this regard.
The players proposed a probably unworkable number of games — 114 — as a means of setting the bidding high on a schedule that will work out well for them financially. Say, a settled agreement at about 80 games or so. The owners were rumored to be considering a counteroffer of a low number of games — say, 50 — as a means of still getting a significant pay cut from the players even if they’re being paid prorata. What Rosenthal is now reporting is that they won’t even counter with that.
Which is to say that the owners are trying to get the players to come off of their prorated salary rights under the threat of a very short schedule that would end up paying them very little. They won’t formally offer that short schedule, however, likely because (a) they believe that the threat of uncertain action is more formidable; and (b) they don’t want to be in the position of publicly demanding fewer baseball games, which doesn’t look very good to fans. They’d rather be in the position of saying “welp, the players wouldn’t talk to us about money so we have no choice, they forced us into 50 games.”
In other news, the NBA seems very close to getting its season resumed.