Twins president ‘optimistic’ about salvaging season despite obstacles
It remains to be seen whether or not Major League Baseball and the MLBPA can come to terms in order to hold some semblance of a 2020 season.
Despite the contentious negotiations that have hampered efforts to get the season underway, Minnesota Twins president Dave St. Peter believes that the complex issues that still exist between the league and the players’ union can be resolved.
“I can tell you that as of [Tuesday], I am more optimistic about playing this season as I have been over the last couple of weeks,” St. Peter said, via La Velle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune. “I know there’s a lot of media reporting and speculation [otherwise], but I think the reality of it is that the situation is a little closer to resolution than most people believe. I truly believe that.
“I think it is rooted in the reality that owners and players ultimately want to play. I think they want to find a bridge, come together. I know that’s the case with the owners and I know that’s the case of our players. I can’t speak for the other 29 clubs.”
There is of course no shortage of obstacles that must be overcome if there is any hope of playing a 2020 season. MLB and the MLBPA have been butting heads over myriad issues in recent weeks. Among them are length of the season — with both parties sending proposals back and forth only to be rebuffed — as well as ensuring the safety of players, team staff and other necessary personnel to hold ballgames.
However, the biggest issue remains player compensation. While intertwined with other matters that need to be resolved, the manner in which players’ incomes will be impacted seems to be the most disruptive element to the ongoing talks. Players taking any semblance of pay cuts appears to be a nonstarter for the MLBPA.
Holding the 2020 season, however, could serve as a means to heal the nation amid the pandemic and social unrest that has erupted in recent weeks, something St. Peter believes will help a deal get done.
“There’s an appetite to make a deal, to come together and recognize that this is an opportunity,” St. Peter said.
“Baseball historically has found ways to help our country recover from national emergencies.
‘‘I do believe that is not just a historical fact, but a narrative that matters to players and owners.
“The events of the last week help reinforce how baseball can bring communities together. We have an opportunity here.”
Whether that pressure to have a season in order to help bring back some degree of normalcy will serve as the impetus for MLB and the players’ union to set aside their considerable differences, however, remains to be seen.