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Max Scherzer: ‘No reason to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions’

Max Scherzer: ‘No reason to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions’

Max Scherzer joined Twitter in February of 2012. He sent 433 tweets since then -- 54 a year on average -- and just four original tweets since Oct. 29, 2018. Until he dropped a shot Wednesday night.

Scherzer dispatched a screenshot at 11:09 p.m. which contained a clear message: the players’ union is angry.

“After discussing the latest developments with the rest of the players, there’s no reason to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions. We have previously negotiated a pay cut in the version of the prorated salaries, and there’s no justification to accept a 2nd pay cut based upon the current information the union has received. I’m glad to hear other players voicing the same viewpoint and believe MLB’s economic strategy would completely change if all documentation were to become public information.”

This has weight. Scherzer is on the union’s eight-player executive subcommittee and it’s not hard to envision him as the executive director of the MLBPA one day. He never uses social media. He does not haphazardly dispatch comments. Anyone who deals with him on a regular basis has heard the phrase, “How do I want to put this?” before a pause. So, this is a distinct and emphatic message.

At its core, the tweet is a jab against Major League Baseball owners. They do not reveal their books to anyone but each other. The players’ union has often griped about being at an information deficit when dealing with the league. That’s because they are. And Scherzer took a big swing at that concept Wednesday night.

Spurring his acrimony was the owners’ recent proposal of a second pay cut for players. The league and union negotiated a deal back in late March which prorated player salaries. The owners circled back with a new proposal which would take a giant whack out of high-end salaries if there is a season in 2020 on top of prorating them.

The new proposal from the league would vault players into tiered pay cuts.

Here’s the scale, as reported by ESPN:

$563,501 to $1 million paid at 72.5%
$1,000,001 to $5 million paid at 50%
$5,000,001 to $10 million paid at 40%
$10,000,001 to $20 million paid at 30%
$20,000,001 and up paid at 20%

These cuts follow the already prorated salaries players would work under during an 82-game season.

Which produces rough numbers like this:

Scherzer would make around $4.333 million in base salary. He was set to make $28,777,759 in base salary this season.

Stephen Strasburg would make $5.313 million. His new contract called for a $35 million base salary, one of the richest in the game.

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Those massive cuts immediately became non-starters for the players’ union.

As in any negotiation, the gap is greatest at the beginning. However, this is not the offseason with months to figure things out. This is late May with the calendar compressing the realistic chances for Major League Baseball to salvage some form of season this year.

And, if Scherzer’s rare tweet is to be taken at face value, the distance to cover in a short period is vast.

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Nationals' 2021 schedule again includes the AL East

Nationals' 2021 schedule again includes the AL East

WASHINGTON -- Despite the 2020 season wobbling toward a late start, Major League Baseball released the 2021 schedule on Thursday afternoon.

Without warning or fanfare -- MLB’s usual ineffective process of releasing the schedule -- the Nationals learned they will open 2021 at home on April 1 against the New York Mets.

All 30 teams are slated to play on Opening Day in 2021.

The Nationals will again face the American League East during interleague play. Oddly, Major League Baseball did not use the already existing full 2020 schedule, nor did it change the interleague matchups after alterations for this season. For instance, the Nationals could have played the American League West next season -- like they were originally scheduled to in 2020. Instead, they will be dealing with the AL East heavyweights for a second consecutive season.

RELATED: NATIONALS' 2020 SCHEDULE FILLED WITH ODDITIES

The Nationals first road trip will be to Los Angeles for a three-game weekend series against the Dodgers on April 9-11 and then on to St. Louis to face the Cardinals, April 12-14.

The Nationals will play the Yankees in New York on May 7-9. The Boston Red Sox visit Nationals Park Oct. 1-3 to close the regular season.

Per usual, most of September will be spent playing within the division. From Aug. 24 through Sept. 22, the Nationals will play 22 out of 28 games against National League East.

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Spelling error? Stephen Strasburg was nervous opening his World Series ring

Spelling error? Stephen Strasburg was nervous opening his World Series ring

It’s understandable that a player might feel an array of emotions when finally getting the chance to see their championship ring in person for the first time.

Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg opened his Thursday and while he was feeling nervous, it wasn’t because of the long road Washington took to winning its first World Series.

“It was very special to see,” Strasburg said on a Zoom press conference Thursday. “I got a little nervous at first because on the outside of the box it came in, my last name was spelled wrong. Luckily, it was spelled correctly on the ring, so I was pretty happy about that.”

RELATED: WATCH AS NATIONALS PLAYERS FINALLY RECEIVE THEIR WORLD SERIES RINGS

The Nationals unveiled the design for their World Series rings May 24, one year to the day after they began climbing out of the depths of a 19-31 start. However, players decided against receiving them until they could all do it together.

“It’s cool to see in person but I think I’ll be with Davey [Martinez] when I can actually put that thing on,” Nationals starter Max Scherzer said after the design was unveiled. “I think all of us, when we’re all together, when we can have that moment together, that’s the final piece to our championship and that’ll be an emotional moment.”

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Strasburg was the only player made available to the media after the rings were distributed, but he emphasized that the moment lived up to expectations.

“It’s pretty special,” Strasburg said. “You just look at all the little things they put on the ring to commemorate some of the big moments of the season and it kind of takes you right back to that moment. And they did a great job on it...Can’t wait to get it home to show my kids.”

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