Current Long Island Ducks manager and former New York Mets player Wally Backman was arrested for domestic violence this morning after pushing a woman against a wall, twisting her hand and taking her phone so she couldn’t call 911. He has been charged with harassment and criminal mischief.
This is not Backman’s first such arrest.
In 2001 he was arrested after a fight at his home involving his then-wife and another person, after which he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor harassment and was sentenced to 12 months’ probation and ordered to undergo an anger management evaluation. In 2000 he was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. In 2004 he was fired only four days after being named the manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks after the club found out he lied about his criminal history.
Backman, as we noted a few months ago, has many backers in the media who like to stump for him to get another change to manage in the major leagues. One would hope that, even if his first arrest for domestic violence did not deter them from this quixotic campaign, his most recent one will. I will not, however, hold my breath.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Major League Baseball Players Association has submitted a proposal to the league concerning the 2020 season. The proposal includes a 114-game season with an end date on October 31, playoff expansion for two years, the right for players to opt out of the season, and a potential deferral of 2020 salaries if the postseason were to be canceled.
Passan clarifies that among the players who choose to opt out, only those that are considered “high risk” would still receive their salaries. The others would simply receive service time. The union also proposed that the players receive a non-refundable $100 million sum advance during what would essentially be Spring Training 2.
If the regular season were to begin in early July, as has often been mentioned as the target, that would give the league four months to cram in 114 games. There would have to be occasional double-headers, or the players would have to be okay with few off-days. Nothing has been mentioned about division realignment or a geographically-oriented schedule, but those could potentially ease some of the burden.
Last week, the owners made their proposal to the union, suggesting a “sliding scale” salary structure. The union did not like that suggestion. Players were very vocal about it, including on social media as Max Scherzer — one of eight players on the union’s executive subcommittee — made a public statement. The owners will soon respond to the union’s proposal. They almost certainly won’t be happy with many of the details, but the two sides can perhaps find a starting point and bridge the gap. As the calendar turns to June, time is running out for the two sides to hammer out an agreement on what a 2020 season will look like.