As Major League Baseball and its players union weigh the league’s proposal for returning to play amid the coronavirus pandemic, several players have spoken out against accepting further pay cuts in order to return to the field.
The two sides agreed to prorate all player salaries in March based on the number of games lost as a result of the outbreak. However, MLB has reportedly asked the union to reconsider that deal after it became increasingly clear the season would have to begin without fans in the stands.
That’s prompted several players, including Tampa Bay Rays starter Blake Snell and Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper, to publicly argue against the idea of sacrificing even more of their salaries.
“Y'all gotta understand, man, for me to go—for me to take a pay cut is not happening, because the risk is through the roof,” Snell said on his Twitch channel last week. “It's a shorter season, less pay.
“No, I gotta get my money. I'm not playing unless I get mine, OK? And that's just the way it is for me. Like, I'm sorry you guys think differently, but the risk is way the hell higher and the amount of money I'm making is way lower. Why would I think about doing that?”
However, league officials aren’t the only ones who disagree with players like Snell. In an interview with 105.7 The Fan on Friday, former Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he wouldn’t be putting up with comments like that from his own players.
“I know one thing, fans don’t want to hear players talking about, ‘I’m not going to play for that type of pay cut,’” Showalter said. “Somebody that’s getting some real bad advice is making those statements. I’d be telling my guys, ‘You need to shut up.’ Fans working at home trying to make ends meet don’t want to hear about you complaining about not getting your full salary.”
Showalter has spent parts of 20 seasons as an MLB skipper, making five playoff appearances and receiving three Manager of the Year awards. He managed the Orioles for nine years before being fired in 2018 following a season in which Baltimore finished 47-115. The 63-year-old is now a contributor for the YES Network and MLB Network.
Known for his stoic attitude and intense approach to the game, Showalter was a member of the “old guard” that pushed against allowing players to show their emotions on the baseball field. With MLB hoping to return this summer and provide fans with a sign of hope amid a global pandemic, the former manager doesn’t want to hear from players who don’t believe they would be receiving their fair share.
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