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#pounditMonday, April 12, 2021

Report: MLBPA backed out of call with government about delaying season

Rob Manfred

The MLBPA is so staunchly opposed to delaying the season — and distrustful of Major League Baseball — that its representatives opted out of a call with government officials about the issue.

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, MLBPA declined to take part in a call between the league and Biden administration officials out of fear that they would be pressured into delaying the season. Instead, the union scheduled a separate call with the same officials for a later date.

The government representatives on the call suggested to the league that the season be delayed by one month with the aim of vaccinating players against COVID-19 before the start of play. Players have been staunchly opposed to any sort of delay to the start of the season, arguing that other leagues are playing despite the pandemic and that their efforts to follow health and safety protocols during the 2020 season were largely successful.

In light of the call, MLB had offered the MLBPA a 154-game schedule with a delayed start and full player pay. The union had concerns with certain aspects of the deal, and also felt it came too close to spring training to be feasible. That means that in spite of the government’s recommendation, the MLB season will start on time and is set to feature a full 162-game schedule.

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