The Associated Press | Ronald Blum: For 25 years, Major League Baseball has enjoyed a virtually unprecedented period of labor peace. Storm clouds have loomed for a few years, though, and now, it appears ready to pour. Agent Scott Boras, and one of his highest-profile clients, Max Scherzer, lambasted the league’s second round of proposed pay cuts. Scherzer suggested teams open their books, while Boras reminded players they have agency—the league cannot move on without them. This outrage marks the most significant challenge to ownership in recent years, and it suggests this battle isn’t close to over.
FanGraphs | Craig Edward: Want to know more about the league’s proposal, and why it had no chance of getting off the ground? Craig has you covered. He breaks down the numbers—projected players salaries under a number of different scenarios—and tries to extrapolate meaning from them. “The owners waited two full weeks after approving the 50/50 split proposal to come up with an alternative only to give the players a renegotiated pay plan that is just as bad financially.” he notes. So why propose it in the first place? “It’s possible the owners believed they could drive a wedge between the union’s members by asking the highest-paid players to take the biggest cuts.” Sigh.
New York Daily News | Kristie Ackert: I’ll end the roundup with something we can all agree upon: the Houston Astros cheated and we will never let them live that down. Adam Ottavino, in fact, is upset that they haven’t had to endure the humiliation that would have gone along with relentless booing, mocking, and taunts across visiting stadiums. If a season does happen, they’ll have empty stands to shield them. “So to me, I think this is helping them, especially when they come back they’re definitely not going to be any fans in the stands,” Ottavino explained. Hopefully players in the other dugout will do the heckling. Maybe pipe in some booing, WWE style.