Major League Baseball continues to look more foolish with each passing day.
The league and the MLB Players Association have been unable to agree on a plan for a shortened 2020 season amid the COVID-19 pandemic. On Saturday, the MLBPA rejected the league's latest proposal.
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The situation took another turn for the worse Monday when league commissioner Rob Manfred gave a grim outlook on the chances of the 2020 season happening.
"I'm not confident. I think there's real risk; and as long as there's no dialogue, that real risk is gonna continue," Manfred told ESPN's Mike Greenberg.
It's no secret the inability for the league and its players to work out a deal is a bad look for the sport, particularly at a time like this.
"It's just a disaster for our game, absolutely no question about it. It shouldn't be happening, and it's important that we find a way to get past it and get the game back on the field for the benefit of our fans," Manfred said, per ESPN.
These comments are a complete 180-degree turn from what Manfred said just five days ago during ESPN's coverage of the 2020 MLB Draft. He was quite adamant there would be a season. "We're going to play baseball in 2020, 100 percent," Manfred said.
Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reported an update Monday on the talks between the MLB and MLBPA, and it doesn't offer any optimism about a 2020 season taking place.
Translation: We won't play unless you waive a potential grievance.— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) June 15, 2020
The MLBA released a scathing statement shortly after Manfred made his comments:
Major League Baseball Players Association Executive Director Tony Clark today released the following statement: pic.twitter.com/ibyOqB93WC— MLBPA Communications (@MLBPA_News) June 15, 2020
The MLB also is the only major North American sports league that still hasn't announced a return-to-play plan for 2020. The NFL still has Week 1 scheduled as normal. The NBA is planning to resume its 2019-20 season in Orlando next month. The NHL unveiled a return to play plan as well, with games potentially resuming in July. The MLS is coming back with a World Cup-style tournament beginning in mid-July.
Sports fans could have plenty of viewing options as early as next month, and even if baseball and its players do find an agreement for the 2020 season and get back on the field later in the summer, the damage in the short term probably has already been done.