Tony Clark
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Tony Clark: ‘A system that restricts player pay based on revenues is a salary cap, period.’


The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich report that the Major League Baseball Players Association doesn’t view revenue-sharing — expected to be proposed by the owners to the union tomorrow — as a viable option to get a 2020 season underway. The split is expected to be 50/50.

MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said, “A system that restricts player pay based on revenues is a salary cap, period. This is not the first salary cap proposal our union has received. It probably won’t be the last.” He added, “That the league is trying to take advantage of a global health crisis to get what they’ve failed to achieve in the past — and to anonymously negotiate through the media for the last several days — suggests they know exactly how this will be received. None of this is beneficial to the process of finding a way for us to safely get back on the field and resume the 2020 season — which continues to be our sole focus.”

The league insists that revenue-sharing wouldn’t be an effective salary cap. An anonymous league official said, “We’re not trying to regulate payrolls, we’re not trying to set a precedent, none of the above.”

While the pandemic is uncharted waters for everybody involved with MLB, these negotiations cannot be viewed in a vacuum. Concessions made by the players now would weaken their leverage going forward, especially with the current collective bargaining agreement set to expire on December 1, 2021. As we have seen in negotiations between other unions and business owners, as well as with legislation that aimed to temporarily suspend certain civil liberties, “temporarily” very easily becomes “permanently.” The union is not only fighting for the present-day protections of its players, but for future protections and leverage as well.

The league, on behalf of the owners, will be aggressive in waging a P.R. battle that makes the players look lazy and selfish, allowing fans to pin any further delay to the 2020 season — or the absence of the season entirely — on them. Remember: the two sides came to an agreement on player pay back in March, which included the players agreeing to significant salary reductions. This is the owners trying to renege on that deal and come up with one that’s more favorable to their pockets, all while putting players and auxiliary personnel at risk.

Video reviews overturn 42% rate; Boston most successful

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NEW YORK (AP) Video reviews overturned 42.4% of calls checked during Major League Baseball’s shortened regular season, down slightly from 44% in 2019.

Boston was the most successful team, gaining overturned calls on 10 of 13 challenges for 76.9%. The Chicago White Sox were second, successful on eight of 11 challenges for 72.7%, followed by Kansas City at seven of 10 (70%).

Pittsburgh was the least successful at 2 of 11 (18.2%), and Toronto was 7 of 25 (28%).

Minnesota had the most challenges with 28 and was successful on nine (32.1%). The New York Yankees and Milwaukee tied for the fewest with nine each; the Yankees were successful on five (55.6%) and the Brewers three (33.3%).

MLB said Tuesday there were 468 manager challenges and 58 crew chief reviews among 526 total reviews during 898 games. The average time of a review was 1 minute, 25 seconds, up from 1:16 the previous season, when there 1,186 manager challenges and 170 crew chief reviews among 1,356 reviews during 2,429 games.

This year’s replays had 104 calls confirmed (19.8%), 181 that stood (34.4%) and 223 overturned. An additional 12 calls (2.3%) were for rules checks and six (1.1%) for recording keeping.

In 2019 there were 277 calls confirmed (12.5%), 463 that stood (34.1%) and 597 overturned. An additional nine calls (0.7%) were for rules checks and 10 (0.7%) for record keeping.

Expanded video review started in 2014.