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Tuesday Bird Droppings: Where MLB is no closer to making a deal

Owners made another proposal to players for a 2020 season, but it did practically nothing to bridge the divide.

World Baseball Classic - Championship Round - Game 3 - USA v Puerto Rico
Pictured: Ron Manfred and Tony Clark, in happier times when they weren’t at each others’ throats.

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

Well, I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is that MLB owners, after stating last week that they would not be making any more proposals to players for a 2020 season, reversed course and took another crack at it yesterday.

The bad news: the latest proposal so badly missed the mark that they probably shouldn’t have even bothered.

According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, yesterday’s offer from MLB proposed a 76-game season in which players would receive 75 percent of their prorated salaries. MLB also threw in the proposed perk of eliminating draft-pick compensation for teams that sign big-name free agents, which would — in theory — increase interest (and lead to bigger contracts) for those players.

To my eyes, MLB’s proposal still isn’t going to get it done. The Players’ Association has been steadfast that they won’t accept anything less than their full prorated salaries for however many games are played. In this proposal, as in all of MLB’s proposals so far, players would be getting paid for only a fraction of the games they’re playing.

But it’s not my decision to make, so let’s see how the players themselves feel about the proposal. What do you think, Jack Flaherty?

Hmm. How about you, Andrew McCutchen?


So, yeah, it’s safe to say MLB’s latest proposal is going over like a lead balloon. I’ve seen phrases like “slap in the face” and “does more harm than good” bandied about on Twitter from those in the know.

Baseball doesn’t seem to be getting any closer to resolving this stalemate, and if the two sides can’t come to terms soon, Rob Manfred may unilaterally decide to enact a truncated season — possibly as short as 48 games — without the union’s approval. So disgruntled players would have to come back this summer to play a schedule they didn’t agree to, for shorter than one-third of a normal season, in front of no fans. That would be...not ideal, to say the least. Would it even be considered baseball?

Alas, that might be the best we can hope for at this point if the 2020 season is going to happen. And nobody’s thrilled about that.

Meanwhile, in a parallel universe...

In a universe where COVID-19 doesn’t exist, the Orioles were scheduled to have a day off yesterday. In fact, almost everyone was; there were only four MLB teams in action. But the 25 other clubs, tired of being consistently trounced by the 51-14 Orioles all year, decided to band together to form one giant super-team consisting of 650 players all on the field at the same time. Then they challenged the Orioles to an exhibition game.

The O’s ambled in, having not stretched or practiced and still wearing their street clothes, and won the game, 6-2.

Simulation brought to you by the PWAG (Paul’s Wild-Ass Guesses) system.


Mike Elias says Orioles are considering five players for the No. 2 pick -
At least there will be something actually happening in baseball this week, thanks to the draft that’s two days away. Mike Elias insists he and his staff are ready, which, of course they are. There’s literally nothing else for them to do.

Keith Law on O’s pick and a take on Austin Martin (with video) - Steve Melewski
Law offers his take on the Orioles’ likely draft strategy, theorizing that Elias might avoid taking a pitcher with the No. 2 pick after getting burned by Mark Appel and Brady Aiken in Houston. Can’t say I blame him.

More questions pertaining to Orioles roster - School of Roch
Roch Kubatko ponders which players will be on the Birds if the season ever begins, based on rumors of a 30-man active roster and 20-man taxi squad. Is that still going to be the case if it ends up being a 48-game schedule, though? Do you really need more players than there are games in the season?

Orioles’ Top 5 relief pitchers: Trezza’s take -
The Orioles’ top-ranked relief pitcher in franchise history has “Gregg” in his name. Spoiler alert: it’s not Kevin.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have just one O’s birthday buddy: 2018 outfielder John Andreoli (30). Remember when the O’s randomly benched Adam Jones for a weekend in Tampa, in the middle of Jones’ final season, allegedly so they could give the journeyman Andreoli some playing time? That was weird. Anyway, happy birthday to him.

On this day in 1971, Mike Cuellar improved his record to 9-1 with a 10-inning complete game, holding the Twins to just one run. Frank Robinson’s walkoff single against Minnesota starter Jim Kaat, who also pitched into the 10th, made Cuellar the winner. The O’s lefty went on to reach the 20-win mark for the third straight season.

And on this date in 2012, Adam Jones cranked a two-run homer in the bottom of the 12th to walk off the Phillies, 6-4, for the Birds’ eighth straight extra-innings win. For the Phillies, Jim Thome homered and drove in the game-tying run in the eighth with a single. The Orioles would trade for him three weeks later.