Trevor Bauer Calls Out Rob Manfred After MLB Commish Casts Doubt on 2020 Season

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer throws against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the fourth inning of a spring training baseball game Monday, March 2, 2020, in Goodyear, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

In a series of tweets, Cincinnati Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer challenged MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred’s motivation for saying he is not sure if there will be a baseball season this year.

Bauer questioned why Manfred reversed course so quickly Monday after the commissioner said last week he thinks there will be a season, and the pitcher suggested Manfred made his latest comments as a delay tactic so he will not get as much public blowback for implementing a severely shortened campaign:

Trevor Bauer @BauerOutage

isn’t it Rob? Because then you’d have to explain why you’re only going to impose 50 games when we could easily play 70 right now. The tactic is to bluff with “no season” again and delay another 2-3 weeks until you clear the risk of “not negotiating in good faith by trying to

Trevor Bauer @BauerOutage

obvious to everyone what you were trying to do. And no one would think that was a “representative season” so you’d risk not getting your precious playoff money. Nope, can’t have that. So gotta make it more than that. But not too many…you’ve gone as high as about 55 games full

Trevor Bauer @BauerOutage

Be at least 4 off days in there…so that’s 64 days. Plus about 20 for spring training…84 days. Sept 27-84 days is July 5. Plus about a week to get players to spring training. So tack on another 7, that takes us to June 28. As I have it figured, that’s your deadline. But today

Trevor Bauer @BauerOutage

You’re holding a losing hand. Unfortunately, it’s a losing hand for everyone involved, not just you. There’s some saying out there about not killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. Check it out on the ole google machine. It’s worth knowing.

Bauer’s tweets come after ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported Manfred told colleague Mike Greenberg he is not sure if there will be a season during the network’s “The Return of Sports” special. “I’m not confident,” Manfred said. “I think there’s real risk; and as long as there’s no dialogue, that real risk is gonna continue.”

Passan noted the comments contradicted those Manfred made last week when he said “unequivocally we are going to play Major League Baseball this year.”

Bauer was not the only member of the Reds to react, as pitcher Amir Garrett said players just want a decision:

CountOnAG @Amir_Garrett

Well could someone make a decision? We all know what they are doing. Just make a decision.l already stop wasting time.. https://t.co/cZUAX1Tp27

Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reported the league sent the players union a letter saying the only way there will be a season is if players waive any potential legal claims against MLB. San Diego Padres outfielder Tommy Pham responded “no baseball” when presented with such an idea.

Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer also criticized Manfred:

Max Scherzer @Max_Scherzer

Rob Manfred and the owners are walking back on their word…AGAIN. The fans do not deserve this. So I’ll say it one more time, tell us when and where.

This is not the first time Bauer has spoken up about the continued negotiations between the sides as they look to restart a season that has been suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In May, Bauer appeared on CBS’ Tiki and Tierney (h/t Michael Blinn of the New York Post) and said the negotiations should not have been made public. 

“The players have been more than willing to compromise,” Bauer said. “We’ve already agreed to take pay cuts at a prorated amount. We all want to be on the field and provide entertainment for the fans, but at the same time, it has to be done in good faith. We have to be treated fairly for the jobs we do and the risks we’re taking.”

Manfred’s comments come after the players union rejected the league’s latest proposal.

Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark released a statement Saturday that said, in part: “It unfortunately appears that further dialogue with the league would be futile. It’s time to get back to work. Tell us when and where.”

As part of the initial agreement between the sides, Manfred can impose a dramatically shortened season that would pay the players full prorated salaries but give the postseason money to the owners.

Owners have moved away from the full prorated salaries in later proposals, which has led to constant rejection from the players’ side. 

All of this comes with the backdrop of an April report from Forbes that revealed the average baseball team is worth about four times what it was a decade ago.

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