IN BRIEF In let­ter, MLB re­jects play­ers’ plan for 114 games

Orlando Sentinel - - Weather -

Ma­jor League Baseball re­jected the play­ers’ pro­posal for a 114-game sched­ule in the pan­demic-de­layed sea­son with no ad­di­tional salary cuts, telling the union that teams have no rea­son to think 82 games is pos­si­ble and now will dis­cuss even fewer.

Play­ers made their pro­posal Sun­day, five days after man­age­ment’s ini­tial eco­nomic plan. Open­ing day would be June 30 and the reg­u­lar sea­son would end Oct. 31, nearly five weeks after the Sept. 27 con­clu­sion that MLB’s pro­posal stuck to from the sea­son’s orig­i­nal sched­ule.

Man­age­ment has said it will dis­cuss a sched­ule of about 50 games, which would re­sult in play­ers re­ceiv­ing about 30% of their full salaries un­der the deal for pro­rated pay the union agreed to in March.

“You con­firmed for us on Sun­day that play­ers are uni­fied in their view that they will not ac­cept less than 100% of their pro­rated salaries, and we have no choice but to ac­cept that rep­re­sen­ta­tion,” Deputy Com­mis­sioner Dan Halem wrote in a let­ter Wed­nes­day to chief union ne­go­tia­tor Bruce

Meyer that was ob­tained by The AP.

“Based on that po­si­tion, the po­si­tions es­poused in your counter-pro­posal, the sig­nif­i­cant health risk of ex­tend­ing the reg­u­lar sea­son past Septem­ber, and the fact that we have missed our June 1 dead­line for re­sum­ing spring train­ing by June 10, we do not have any rea­son to be­lieve that a ne­go­ti­ated so­lu­tion for an 82-game sea­son is pos­si­ble,” Halem wrote.

“None­the­less, the com­mis­sioner is com­mit­ted to play­ing baseball in 2020,” Halem added. “He has started dis­cus­sions with own­er­ship about stag­ing a shorter sea­son.”

He ended his let­ter by telling Meyer “we stand ready to dis­cuss any ideas you may have that might lead to an agree­ment on re­sum­ing play with­out reg­u­lar fan ac­cess in our sta­di­ums.”

MLB does not want to play past Oc­to­ber be­cause it fears a sec­ond wave of the coronaviru­s could dis­rupt the post­sea­son and jeop­ar­dize $787 mil­lion in broad­cast rev­enue. Halem cited MLB’s in­fec­tious dis­ease con­sul­tant, Dr. Ali Khan, Dean of the Col­lege of Pub­lic Health at the Uni­ver­sity of Ne­braska.

■ Pi­rates RHP Chris Archer, 31, won’t pitch if there’s a sea­son this year after un­der­go­ing surgery Tues­day to re­lieve symp­toms of tho­racic out­let syn­drome.

Col­lege foot­ball: Col­lege Foot­ball Hall of Famer Johnny Ma­jors, the coach of Pitts­burgh’s 1976 na­tional cham­pi­onship team and a for­mer coach and star player at Ten­nessee, died. He was 85. Ma­jors com­piled a 185-137-10 record in 29 sea­sons as a coach at Iowa State (1968-72), Pitt (1973-76, 1993-96) and Ten­nessee (1977-92). That fol­lowed a stand­out play­ing ca­reer at Ten­nessee dur­ing which he fin­ished sec­ond to Notre Dame’s Paul Hor­nung in the 1956 Heis­man Tro­phy bal­lot­ing. He was in­ducted into the Col­lege Foot­ball Hall of Fame in 1987. Ten­nessee re­tired Ma­jors’ No. 45 jersey in 2012 . ... Two more Ok­la­homa State play­ers tested pos­i­tive for COVID-19 since re­turn­ing to cam­pus for vol­un­tary work­outs, bring­ing the to­tal to three. Se­nior as­so­ciate AD Kevin Klint­worth tweeted that of the 150 staff, ad­min­is­tra­tors and ath­letes tested, three ath­letes had asymp­to­matic pos­i­tives.

NFL: After ear­lier shar­ing a mes­sage of unity on so­cial media, Saints QB Drew Brees at­tracted back­lash when he re­it­er­ated his past stance on how he will “never agree with any­body dis­re­spect­ing the flag of the United States of Amer­ica” dur­ing an in­ter­view with Ya­hoo Fi­nance. They were the fu­ture Hall of Famer’s first com­ments in the wake of Ge­orge Floyd’s killing last week. Brees’ re­marks on the flag drew a sharp re­buke on so­cial media across the sports world, in­clud­ing from Lak­ers star LeBron James and Saints team­mate Mal­com Jenk­ins . ... Broncos coach Vic Fan­gio apol­o­gized for sug­gest­ing dis­crim­i­na­tion and racism aren’t prob­lems in the NFL. “After re­flect­ing on my com­ments and lis­ten­ing to the play­ers, I re­al­ize what I said re­gard­ing racism and dis­crim­i­na­tion in the NFL was wrong,” Fan­gio said in an apol­ogy posted on the team’s Twit­ter ac­count. Fan­gio, 61, faced blow­back on so­cial media and was called tone-deaf after his com­ments in a video call with the media on Tues­day. He had sug­gested dis­crim­i­na­tion and racism weren’t is­sues in the NFL.

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