Blake Snell Stands by Viral Twitch Video: MLB Proposal 'Not Fair to the Players'

Megan ArmstrongSenior Analyst IIMay 15, 2020

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) is shown during spring training baseball camp Friday, Feb. 14, 2020, in Port Charlotte, Fla. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
John Bazemore/Associated Press

Tampa Bay Rays ace Blake Snell doubled down on the risk needing to match the reward for him to agree to play the 2020 MLB season during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I want people to understand, what I'm saying is real," Snell told The Athletic's Josh Tolentino on Thursday. "I'm concerned just like everybody else about the virus, and I want to make sure me and my peers are taken care of."

The 2018 American League Cy Young Award winner continued:

"We want to play under circumstances that we agreed upon as a group. I will play if I get 50 percent and we play 50 percent of the season. But to accept making less than that and with more risks for our health, it’s not fair to the players. I have love for all the essential workers. I have friends and family who are in health care, working essential jobs. Everybody needs to understand this is us wanting fair treatment during a crazy time with the pandemic going on."

Snell initially made waves during a Twitch session Wednesday:

John Flanigan @jflan816

Here’s Blake Snell discussing MLB’s revenue split proposal this afternoon on Twitch. https://t.co/CCyCai42Aj

The 27-year-old's comments came as MLB owners reportedly approved a plan that would require teams to share 50 percent of their respective revenue with the MLB Players Association, USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported Monday.

MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark spoke out against that proposal:

Ken Rosenthal @Ken_Rosenthal

MLB revenue-sharing plan is a nonstarter for the players’ association. Union head Tony Clark: “A system that restricts player pay based on revenues is a salary cap, period.” Story with @EvanDrellich: https://t.co/4TXrKHAMhF

Philadelphia Phillies All-Star outfielder Bryce Harper agreed with Snell during his own Twitch live stream Thursday.

"He ain't lying," Harper said, per NBC Sports Philadelphia's Corey Seidman. "He's speaking the truth, bro. I ain't mad at him. Somebody's gotta say it, at least he manned up and said it. Good for him. I love Snell. The guy's a beast. One of the best lefties in the game."

Jeff Passan @JeffPassan

Nothing about MLB and the MLBPA’s talks Tuesday changed the calculus in any negotiation right now: Both parties have far too much to lose to allow something as solvable as money to wreck a season. Talked more about it with @Espngreeny on @GetUpESPN this morning. https://t.co/YvrDcoVsMA

Commissioner Rob Manfred discussed what a return might look with Anderson Cooper on Thursday night:

Anderson Cooper 360° @AC360

“All of our players would be tested multiple times a week” for coronavirus, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred says on the efforts to bring baseball back. “That testing would be supplemented less frequently by antibody testing as well.” #CNNTownHall https://t.co/zU95g1FwYr https://t.co/J1MKyc5AJ0

The MLB and MLBPA previously agreed on stipulations, including pay cuts, on March 27 before meeting again Tuesday.

The 2020 season was meant to happen March 26, and a new date for Opening Day has not been set.