Rob Manfred: MLB Was Never Going to Play More Than 60 Games This Season

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJuly 1, 2020

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred answers questions at a press conference during MLB baseball owners meetings, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
John Raoux/Associated Press

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred appeared on The Dan Patrick Show Wednesday and said the MLB season was never going to be longer than 60 games because of complications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"The reality is, we weren't going to play more than 60 games no matter how the negotiations with the players went or any other factor. Sixty games is the outside of the envelope given the realities of the [coronavirus]. I think this is the one thing we come back to every single day—we're trying to manage something that has proven to be unpredictable and unmanageable."

He added: "If we can pull off this 60-game season, it was the best we were going to do for our fans given the course of the [coronavirus]."

Those comments might raise some eyebrows over at the MLBPA, especially given the reports that the first offer the owners made to the players was for an 82-game season with a second pay cut for the players after they had already agreed to prorated salaries. 

The second offer by the owners was reportedly to play 76 regular-season games with the players receiving 75 percent of their prorated salaries—again, a second pay cut for the players—assuming the playoffs were completed.

The third reported proposal was to play 72 regular-season games with up to 80 percent of prorated salaries paid out. And the fourth and final offer was to play 60 games with full prorated salaries. The players rejected all four offers and Manfred ultimately implemented the 60-game season. 

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The players had countered with offers of anywhere between 114 and 70 regular-season games, always with their full prorated salaries. Suffice to say, the two sides never got all that close in negotiations.  

There will almost assuredly be some players who cite Manfred's recent comments as evidence of stall tactics by the owners and of negotiating in bad faith. Cincinnati Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer accused Manfred of just that on June 15:

Both sides will likely continue to play the PR game until the actual games begin. The main loser of that back-and-forth has been the fans.