As Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association continue negotiating a potential return to the field in July, Álex Rodríguez is calling for both sides to work together to ‘save’ baseball and bring it back to the fans.
In a 47-second video posted to Twitter on Friday, the former New York Yankees slugger and current FOX Sports analyst says now is the time to step up to the plate together, adding that fans don’t want to see “millionaires fighting billionaires” at the negotiating table.
Players & owners can come together to grow the pie-share in it-& have a double bottom line— Alex Rodriguez (@AROD) May 16, 2020
Most of all, the FANS of our amazing game deserve it. This isn't about the past, or the CBA or posturing. This is about surviving as a country & the American pastime can again lead the way
Here are A-Rod’s full comments:
“It is the people’s comfort food and people are starving. And I just don’t want to see this great game, people fighting, billionaires fighting with millionaires. This has nothing to do with the past. This has nothing to do with the strike. This is actually when the owners and players are aligned and we want the same thing. We want to save baseball. We want to play baseball.
“Players want to play. Fans want to watch. And at the end of the day, if you don’t play today, you don’t win tomorrow, because hopefully we don’t have another situation like this. This is like beyond anything we’ve ever seen before. I just urge the players and owners to think collectively. If there’s $100 in the pie, like the NBA, players take $50, owners take $50. And we give it to the fans. We thank the fans of baseball.”
A-Rod’s impassioned plea comes on the heels of Blake Snell stating the risks involved are not worth it for the players if they won’t receive their full salary. Those comments were backed up by Philadelphia Phillies superstar Bryce Harper. During a live Twitch stream on Thursday, Harper commended Snell for saying what needed to be said.
In March, the players agreed to accept prorated salaries based on the number of games played. However, the owners are now asking players for a 50-50 revenue split because of the extraordinary circumstances. A new owners’ proposal approved on Monday also seeks further reduction of the players’ prorated pay because of the projected financial losses that come from a season without fans in the stands.
During an appearance on CNN Thursday night, commissioner Rob Manfred said losses could reach $4 billion league wide if there’s no season at all.
According to reports, the multi-layered negotiations mostly centered around health and safety issues this week. The money issue will likely be the toughest hurdle to clear based on the divide that is clearly growing.
A-Rod’s comments likely won’t do much to bridge that gap, but they reflect what fans hope will happen if baseball is able to safely return.
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