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Philip

Manfred’s latest gaffe

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1 hour ago, makoman said:

I don't have a strong feeling about this, but Bauer is a loudmouth and you'll hate anything Manfred does so there's that.

Maybe there's something to this, but when someone who has loudly and repeatedly said that (yes, I'm paraphrasing) Manfred is a traitor to the sport of baseball I can't take this thread as any kind of objective viewpoint.

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I mean, he's not wrong. But he's also an idiot for saying this. And a trash commish overall. 

At the end of the day, they almost certainly won't play the full 60, much less beyond that. But I'd be thrilled to be wrong! (As long as it meant everyone generally made it through safely.)

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4 hours ago, Philip said:

https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2898515-rob-manfred-mlb-was-never-going-to-play-more-than-60-games-this-season

 

Manfred has said there was never any intent to have a season of longer than 60 games. That is a de facto admission that he was deliberately lying every time he mentioned any other options. His comments are pretty direct and seem to be a clear admission of collusion, bargaining in bad faith, and possibly many another negotiating sin.

Can any lawyers in the group chime in? Trevor Bauer seems to be angry, but he’s not a lawyer. I’d love to hear from someone who is.

 

Dang, you really hate Manfred!

The reaction to Manfred's comment hasn't been great and probably not what he was hoping for at all. But, saying that it's a clear admission of collusion and bad faith is a big, big stretch. The COVID-19 situation changes daily and hourly. I don't think MLB can be locked into any agreement during a really unprecedented time when no one knows what to expect next. That 82 game offer came when things were looking pretty good, relatively speaking - now there is a pretty big resurgence in Florida, Texas, Arizona, and California that has everyone pretty worried.

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9 minutes ago, Mr. Chewbacca Jr. said:

Dang, you really hate Manfred!

The reaction to Manfred's comment hasn't been great and probably not what he was hoping for at all. But, saying that it's a clear admission of collusion and bad faith is a big, big stretch. The COVID-19 situation changes daily and hourly. I don't think MLB can be locked into any agreement during a really unprecedented time when no one knows what to expect next. That 82 game offer came when things were looking pretty good, relatively speaking - now there is a pretty big resurgence in Florida, Texas, Arizona, and California that has everyone pretty worried.

I dislike him, and so do many, and he’s earned it. It is disingenuous for anyone to insinuate that there are no reasons to wish him gone.

However, let’s focus on just this situation and just the article from yesterday.

Manfred Said that there was never any intention to have a season longer than 60 games, which contradicts everything he had said prior to that.

That certainly seems to me as if he was “bargaining in bad faith” and that is why I posted the question. I’m not a lawyer and requested insight.

Meanwhile, in the recent poll, I personally voted that there would be no baseball at all. I think the situation is being poorly handled, and if we couldn’t have baseball in April, “for safety reasons” then how can we possibly have baseball in July, when the situation is worse?

The claim that safety is the reason they can’t have a season longer than 60 games is bogus.

Yes, I dislike Manfred, and I wish he were not commissioner. But he has earned the animosity, and just just from me, and probably not from a minority of fans, either. If you think he’s ok, that’s fine. I’ve expressed myself and that’s fine too.

The next commissioner will hopefully spend the first part of his tenure un-doing as much as possible of the bad that Manfred has done.

 

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6 hours ago, Philip said:

https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2898515-rob-manfred-mlb-was-never-going-to-play-more-than-60-games-this-season

 

Manfred has said there was never any intent to have a season of longer than 60 games. That is a de facto admission that he was deliberately lying every time he mentioned any other options. His comments are pretty direct and seem to be a clear admission of collusion, bargaining in bad faith, and possibly many another negotiating sin.

Can any lawyers in the group chime in? Trevor Bauer seems to be angry, but he’s not a lawyer. I’d love to hear from someone who is.

 

Since seeing some his work close-up in the MASN dispute, I've bounced back and forth between viewing Manfred as an idiot and as a guy who was forced to take some on-productive positions (in my opinion) at the direction of the owners, or based on his interpretation of what those owners wanted. This statement, offered gratuitously, seems just plain stupid -- surprisingly candid, but just stupid. One of the qualities Manfred has shown at every turn is arrogance, and my best guess is that Manfred made the statement as a way of claiming victory for the owners: I out-negotiated the union once again. We got what we wanted, and they  didn't. Watch out for me in the CBA negotiations -- I'll beat the union again.

I didn't follow these negotiations very closely, but a month or so ago I got curious, and I went back and reviewed pretty closely the statements and actions of both sides since June.  It became pretty clear to me that MLB, at least since late April or May, has been dragging out the negotiations. Every regular season game played benefits the players, because they get paid their pro rated salary for that game, and hurts the owners because most of them will have expenses (those per-game salaries and other costs of puttng on a came) that exceed what they take in from the media rights for that game. On the other hand, every post-season game is expected to bring profits to the owners from national television (and possibly from some limited paid attendance), while the players on the playoff teams get only a share of any gate receipts (with a floor) and none of the media revenues, and none of their season's salaries for post-season games.

Early on, MLB put a cap on the post-season of November 1 (or early November) based on concerns that the  virus might become more widespread around that time. So, as far as the length of the season is concerned, the only issues were the start date and whether to add the extra playoff round that the owners were seeking. From the time of a settlement, you could count the days until October 1 (the start of the playoffs), subtract about a week to get organized and three weeks for summer training, and the number of days left (minus a few days off) is the number of games in the season. Manfred and MLB used a number of familiar tactics -- making proposals that they knew would anger the players, calling the players/union names in public, lying in public about whether an a deal had been reached --  to put off that agreement and reduce the number of games. I thought they were going for 40-something or 50, or maybe for 0.   

On the other hand, you can blame the union, and Tony Clark in particular, for putting the players at the mercy of Manfred and the owners by agreeing to base their pay on the number of games played, while putting that number in the control of a party with an interest in minimizing it and a negotiator with no apparent scruples in getting there. The union walked right into that, and who knows whether it did so with its eyes open to that possibility?  One of a lawyer's critical roles in negotiating agreements like these is to advise the client of the possible consequences of proposed contract terms under a wide variety of situations. I have read that Clark negotiated and signed the March agreement without a lawyer present. If that's true, and there's nothing to explain that, I would fire him (or change his role) for the offense of overestimating his own abilities..

It's a fuzzy area of contract law, and it differs somewhat from state to state, but generally if you and I are negotiating a contract, we aren't obligated to act in good-faith or to avoid scummy tactics like the ones Manfred used. This situation may be different for a couple of reasons. The March agreement remains unavailable to the public, but the union has argued, and it makes sense, that it provides for, or by its nature anticipates, future negotiations over the length of the 2020 season. If so, the  March agreement probably imposes on the parties an obligation of good faith and fair dealing in those negotiations, which it appears MLB violated. Second, the federal labor laws impose on employers and unions lots of obligations to bargain with one another in good faith. It would seem logical to me that the teams and the union had that obligation here and that the crap Manfred pulled  was not good-faith bargaining with the union, but I don't really know much about labor law.

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He tried to walk it back a bit today, saying he MEANT that the way things turned out with there being a bit of a second spike in Corona Virus, they never would have been able to do more than 60 games.

I don't think anyone is buying that interpretation of what he said yesterday, but given him credit for the effort.

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@spiritof66

Your comment was excellent and I appreciate it. 

I have long thought that arrogance was the greatest of the sins, because In order to improve one must first admit the flaw in oneself, and arrogant people are unable to do that.

Unfortunately, a certain amount of arrogance seems to be necessary in order to obtain positions like Clark and Manfred have.

But Manfred certainly seems to have blustered the owners into an untenable position, because he can’t take back his statement no matter how hard he tries.

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22 hours ago, DrungoHazewood said:

Maybe there's something to this, but when someone who has loudly and repeatedly said that (yes, I'm paraphrasing) Manfred is a traitor to the sport of baseball I can't take this thread as any kind of objective viewpoint.

If this is directed at me, I strongly object. I posted the question to ask questions. Manfred’s comments are very clear and on the surface at least, extremely implicating.

I did not “editorialize.” I specifically asked for insight from any lawyers in the crowd.

My negative opinion of Manfred is based on real things that he has really done that are arguably quite detrimental to the game, and that negative opinion is shared by a vast quantity of fans.

If you think I have some kind of inherent bias,  and that I merely hate the guy because he has bad teeth, you are very demonstrably wrong, but the problem can be solved by just ignoring anything I write in the future.

Edited by Philip

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20 hours ago, Mr. Chewbacca Jr. said:

But, saying that it's a clear admission of collusion and bad faith is a big, big stretch.

Why? When he says directly that there was never any intention to play more than 60 games, how is that a stretch. And how does that have anything to do Personal feelings? After all, he said it, and whether somebody loves him or hates him, he still said it, and he still said something that cannot really be explained away. 

And you don’t have to look very hard to find plenty of responses that say basically the same thing. 

Edited by Philip

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52 minutes ago, Philip said:

Why? When he says directly that there was never any intention to play more than 60 games, how is that a stretch. And how does that have anything to do Personal feelings? After all, he said it, and whether somebody loves him or hates him, he still said it, and he still said something that cannot really be explained away. 

And you don’t have to look very hard to find plenty of responses that say basically the same thing. 

“My point was that no matter what happened with the union, the way things unfolded with the second spike,’’ Manfred told USA TODAY Sports, “we would have ended up with only time for 60 games, anyway. As time went on, it became clearer and clearer that the course of the virus was going to dictate how many games we could play.’’

“As it turned out, the reality was there was only time to play 60 games,’’ Manfred said. “If we had started an 82-game season [beginning July 1], we would have had people in Arizona and Florida the time the second spike hit.’’

“We just weren’t going to be able to play more than 60 games at that point,’’ Manfred said, “with everything being shut down. The reality is that we’re going to be lucky if we 60 games now given the course of the virus.’’

“I know it hasn’t looked particularly pretty in spots, but having said that, if we can pull off this 60-game season, I think it was the best we were going to do for our fans given the course of the virus.”

“It’s the calendar,” Manfred said. “We’re playing 60 games in 63 days right now. I don’t see, given the reality of the health situation over the past few weeks, how we were going to get going any faster than the calendar we’re on right now. No matter what the state of those negotiations were.”

You're taking one soundbite out of an interview. I wouldn't put it past MLB to stall to get what they want at all - but acting like a one-off comment during a Dan Patrick interview is some admission of guilt is a pretty big leap. It wouldn't have any standing in court.

 

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7 minutes ago, Mr. Chewbacca Jr. said:

“My point was that no matter what happened with the union, the way things unfolded with the second spike,’’ Manfred told USA TODAY Sports, “we would have ended up with only time for 60 games, anyway. As time went on, it became clearer and clearer that the course of the virus was going to dictate how many games we could play.’’

“As it turned out, the reality was there was only time to play 60 games,’’ Manfred said. “If we had started an 82-game season [beginning July 1], we would have had people in Arizona and Florida the time the second spike hit.’’

“We just weren’t going to be able to play more than 60 games at that point,’’ Manfred said, “with everything being shut down. The reality is that we’re going to be lucky if we 60 games now given the course of the virus.’’

“I know it hasn’t looked particularly pretty in spots, but having said that, if we can pull off this 60-game season, I think it was the best we were going to do for our fans given the course of the virus.”

“It’s the calendar,” Manfred said. “We’re playing 60 games in 63 days right now. I don’t see, given the reality of the health situation over the past few weeks, how we were going to get going any faster than the calendar we’re on right now. No matter what the state of those negotiations were.”

You're taking one soundbite out of an interview. I wouldn't put it past MLB to stall to get what they want at all - but acting like a one-off comment during a Dan Patrick interview is some admission of guilt is a pretty big leap. It wouldn't have any standing in court.

 

“The reality is we weren’t going to play more than 60 games, no matter how the negotiation with the players went, or any other factor," 

That comment trumps the other comments. He’s saying that “regardless of the negotiations”

Well then, why have negotiations? Why not say, “we’re only gonna have 60 games and we’re going to start in July” Why waste so much time on posturing that, according to Manfred himself, was useless?

 That’s why I asked the lawyers in the crowd For their thoughts. Spirit of 66 is not a lawyer, but his comment was very cogent

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20 minutes ago, Philip said:

“The reality is we weren’t going to play more than 60 games, no matter how the negotiation with the players went, or any other factor," 

That comment trumps the other comments. He’s saying that “regardless of the negotiations”

Well then, why have negotiations? Why not say, “we’re only gonna have 60 games and we’re going to start in July” Why waste so much time on posturing that, according to Manfred himself, was useless?

 That’s why I asked the lawyers in the crowd For their thoughts. Spirit of 66 is not a lawyer, but his comment was very cogent

Philip, he's not giving a sworn deposition here. It's one sentence from a much longer interview on a podcast without considering its context. To me, it's clickbait - and not something that would have any legal repercussions whatsoever.

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2 hours ago, Philip said:

“The reality is we weren’t going to play more than 60 games, no matter how the negotiation with the players went, or any other factor," 

That comment trumps the other comments. He’s saying that “regardless of the negotiations”

Well then, why have negotiations? Why not say, “we’re only gonna have 60 games and we’re going to start in July” Why waste so much time on posturing that, according to Manfred himself, was useless?

 That’s why I asked the lawyers in the crowd For their thoughts. Spirit of 66 is not a lawyer, but his comment was very cogent

I practiced law in New York City for 35 years before I retired in 2013. (And I'm still a lawyer, technically.) If it doesn't show, I guess I'll take that as a compliment. 😁

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