After saying last week that he believed the likelihood of baseball returning this summer to be "100 percent," MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred walked that sentiment back on Monday, telling ESPN he is "not confident" there will be a season at all.
Manfred gave these latest comments to ESPN's Mike Greenberg for their "Return to Sports" special that is scheduled to air at 9 p.m. tonight.
The Players Association said over the weekend that "further dialogue with the league would be futile" after MLB's latest proposal was seen as insulting by many players. Manfred pointed to that continuing lack of dialogue as now putting the season in jeopardy.
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 said when asked if he was confident there would be a season.
"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.
Players and fans alike would agree with Manfred that the ongoing dispute is a disaster for the game.
"It's time to get back to work. Tell us when and where," the Players Association said over the weekend. This could not have been the response they were hoping for.
MLBPA executive director Tony Clark issued the following statement soon after Manfred's comments were made public:
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
Manfred's full comments will air this evening on ESPN alongside conversations with Roger Goodell, Adam Silver, Gary Bettman and other heads of leagues talking about all of the concerns of returning to play amid the coronavirus pandemic.
A couple of Phillies took to social media following these latest comments, expressing their displeasure.
Bryce Harper tweeted, "What's good, @Eagles?" A reference to comments he made on Lane Johnson's podcast about joining the Birds if the MLB season gets canceled.
What’s good @Eagles?👋🏼— Bryce Harper (@bryceharper3) June 15, 2020
Rhys Hoskins just had a good laugh.
As my good friend @TheCUTCH22 would say.... lol.— Rhys Hoskins (@rhyshoskins) June 15, 2020
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