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Buster Olney on jabs between MLB, union: ‘Nobody wants to hear it’

Buster Olney on jabs between MLB, union: ‘Nobody wants to hear it’

What started as negotiations over the format of a 2020 season has grown into an ugly back-and-forth affair between MLB and its players union. Both sides have used the press and social media to take public shots at one another while introducing proposals nowhere near the middle ground.

Nationals starter Max Scherzer, a member of the union’s eight-player executive subcommittee, is among the players who’s taken to Twitter to voice his frustrations with MLB’s approach to negotiations.

Scherzer isn’t alone in making public comments about the ongoing discussions, either. Tampa Bay Rays starter Blake Snell talked on Twitch about why he’s among the players to adamantly oppose taking further pay cuts when they’re the ones accepting most of the risk. Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper backed up the former AL Cy Young Winner as well, saying, “somebody’s gotta say it.”

On the league’s side, St. Louis Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt Jr. made headlines last week for saying the baseball industry “isn’t very profitable” while pointing to the players’ distrust of their word. Commissioner Rob Manfred went on MLB Network on Wednesday and gave fans a “100 percent” guarantee that baseball will be played in 2020 while telling the union to “get off” the idea that they shouldn’t take additional salary cuts.

RELATED: JUST LIKE ’94 STRIKE, FANS ARE TIRED OF BICKERING BETWEEN MLB, PLAYERS UNION

On Friday’s episode of the Nationals Talk podcast, ESPN baseball analyst Buster Olney joined NBC Sports Washington’s Todd Dybas and Chase Hughes to discuss the turmoil that has eroded into the public eye.

“A lot of what Max has tweeted out, all of what Max has tweeted out, there’s truth in it,” Olney said. “There’s truth in what Blake Snell said. There might be some elements of truth to what various owners have said. Nobody wants to hear it in the current context and it’s been shocking but not shocking that the two sides just haven’t kept all of the discussions behind closed doors.

“Max is one of my favorites, he’s a legitimate perspective,” Olney said. “I just don’t think it’s helped either side to spill out into the public forum.”

LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW ON THE NATIONALS TALK PODCAST

The players union effectively ended talks Saturday, declining to submit another proposal and instead challenging MLB to follow through with its threat of mandating a 50-game season with full pro rata salary for players.

“It unfortunately appears that further dialogue with the league would be futile,” union chief Tony Clark said in a statement. “It’s time to get back to work. Tell us when and where.”

Just a few hours later, MLB responded with a statement of its own.

“The MLBPA’s position that players are entitled to virtually all the revenue from a 2020 season played without fans is not fair to the thousands of other baseball employees that Clubs and our office are supporting financially during this very difficult 2020 season. We will evaluate the Union’s refusal to adhere to the terms of the March Agreement, and after consulting with ownership, determine the best course to bring baseball back to our fans.”

In the end, the biggest losers of the extended battle between the two sides will not be the owners or the players, but the fans. Even if a season is played this summer, the damage caused by the continued lack of progress toward reaching an agreement may end up being unrepairable.

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Max and Erica Scherzer announce ‘Nats for Masks’ initiative

Max and Erica Scherzer announce ‘Nats for Masks’ initiative

Max Scherzer and his wife, Erica, have announced the formation of a new organization called 'Nats for Masks' that will help provide masks to underprivileged and at-risk populations in DMV area.

As part of the initiative, the Scherzers will auction off some of their personal collection of memorabilia to support COVID-19 relief efforts in the DMV. Some of the auction items available included autographed game-used jerseys, caps, and even Max’s 2019 All-Star Game nameplate.

Giving back to the community is nothing new to the Scherzer family. As animal lovers, back in 2017 during the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the Scherzer’s rallied to cover adoption fees for all animals at the Washington-based Humane Rescue Alliance in order to make space for animals brought in from Houston.

Erica is also on the Board of Directors of the Humane Rescue Alliance, and Max has also contributed in the past in a PSA to raise awareness for the shelter.

https://twitter.com/HumaneRescue/status/861982319892193284?s=20

As if we needed another reason to adore the Scherzer family and what they do for our community, just add this to the list.

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Stephen Strasburg will start for Nationals Sunday against Orioles

Stephen Strasburg will start for Nationals Sunday against Orioles

Davey Martinez said Friday that Stephen Strasburg will start Sunday against the Baltimore Orioles.

Strasburg has yet to pitch this season because of a right wrist impingement which led to a nerve problem in his right hand. He missed his first start, slated for the second game of the season on July 25, then what would have been his second start five days later. Strasburg said his hand was falling asleep in the middle of the night. The Nationals medical staff needed to give Strasburg multiple injections in his hand in order to help the pain subside.

RELATED: IS NATIONALS VS. ORIOLES A TRUE RIVALRY?

He threw a heavy bullpen session Wednesday before throwing 32 pitches in a simulated game. Martinez said Strasburg felt well during the simulated game, so instead of continuing, they had him stop in order to throw 70-plus pitches Sunday against Baltimore.

"The tingling in his thumb is gone," Martinez said Friday. "That's a good sign. We watched him, like I said, he's thrown some really good [bullpen sessions]. That was the big thing for me. Nothing in his mechanics has changed. Everything's good. Based on conversations with him, he feels good. He wants to pitch. He's ready to pitch on Sunday."

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Max Scherzer left his Wednesday start after just an inning because of a hamstring "tweak" from the day before when he was running sprints. He was expected to play catch Friday. Martinez labeled him "day-to-day."

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