Dieter Kurtenbach: Professional sports fear this more than COVID-19
Alexander Hamilton once said that America is the “grand experiment.”These days, that experiment seems to be in how to least effectively manage a pandemic.A few months ago, we were asked to “flatten the curve”. Apparently the message was missed that we should keep the curve flat, too. The rise in COVID-19 cases in 11 hot-spot states — including California — is enough to concern even the most optimistic.It certainly has the North American professional sports leagues on high alert.America’s five biggest professional sports leagues will all resume play this month. The NBA is going to into a “bubbl...
The Mercury News
Wage talks could impact Ford's future in Canada
Jerry Dias is quick to praise the Detroit Three automakers while at the same time warning that Canadian consumers punish companies when they break promises or abandon operations across the border.He has recently begun four-year contract talks as president of Unifor that will impact thousands of auto industry workers in this exceptionally uncertain economic environment that included a two-month shutdown related to coronavirus.Union leaders won’t pretend that executives aren’t pocketing millions; The burden of industry change must be shared rather than dumped on hourly factory workers, he said.“...
Detroit Free Press
Bryce Miller: Padres, MLB owners need to fix mess born from 2020 negotiations
SAN DIEGO — There’s still a chance to salvage this, baseball. Despite the greed. Despite the absurd posturing. Despite the deaf ear to fans. Despite stepping on the rake, like a 1960s comedy sketch.Once MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred dots the I’s and crosses the T’s on the amount of games and start date — thought to be 60, potentially starting July 24 — owners and players will face a fractured fan base. What do you plan to do about it?Damage has been done, without a doubt. How much remains to be seen. You’ve pitched yourself into a bases loaded jam. Stumble now at everyone’s peril.“You shut this...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
COVID-19 concerns, calendar shaping MLB labor talks for 60-game season
It was COVID-19 that plunged Major League Baseball into this self-destructive labor fight with the Players Association. And if the sides ever agree on a plan for a shortened season, it will be COVID-19 that threatens to wipe it all out.Now, it appears commissioner Rob Manfred is turning to a COVID-19 spike to make one last appeal to the players for an agreement.Faced with whether or not to accept MLB’s pitch for a 60-game season — a plan that, for the first time, honors the per-game pay to which the players agreed in March — the union tabled a vote this weekend, a source said Sunday night, as ...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Chris McCosky: Virus was always going to win. Baseball must find logical path to a healthy '21
DETROIT — Just stop. Please, stop all this madness right now.There isn’t going to be a baseball season this summer. Honestly, between the pandemic and the pent-up animus between the players and owners, there never was going to BE a baseball season — not a real one, anyway.What are we talking about here? A farcical 50-plus-game season to set up an $800 million postseason payday for the owners? You could see this coming the last two weeks as both sides dug in.The players’ association, which has been licking its wounds since the owners gutted them on financial issues in the 2016 collective bargai...
The Detroit News
Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey talks baseball's ugly restart battle and the coronavirus curveball
NEW YORK — The discord between Major League Baseball players and owners has consumed all of spring, and is on the verge of trickling into the start of summer. Fiscal negotiations on opening the season have warped from bad, to hopeful, to worse, to messy and ugly within a regular 9-5 workday.Fans have increasingly lost interest in the sport potentially returning this summer. A face-to-face meeting between MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and Players Association chief Tony Clark did little to raise spirits when those same men couldn’t even agree on what they previously discussed.It’s a disastrous ti...
New York Daily News
Minneapolis chief to withdraw from negotiations with police union
MINNEAPOLIS — Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said Wednesday that he will step away from contract negotiations with Minneapolis’ powerful police union, the latest in a series of reforms meant to restore faith in the beleaguered department following the death of George Floyd.“I need to as chief step away from the table with the Minneapolis Police Federation and really take a deep dive in terms of how we can do something that is historically been something that is in the way of progress, that I’ve been hearing from many in our city,” Arradondo said. “It’s time that we have to evolve.”Arradondo’s ...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
MLB's new 76-game proposal likely to be rejected by players for same old reason
Yes, it’s about money.But the feud between Major League Baseball and the Players Association over player compensation in an abbreviated season without fans cuts deeper than dollars. It’s about negotiating principles. Mostly it’s about the terms and language in a March 26 agreement, the mere existence of which has framed the players’ view of all subsequent proposals, including MLB’s latest offer on Monday, and set the stage for an increasingly likely mini-season of about 50 games.It doesn’t make this mess any less detestable, especially because it’s happening amid a virus that has killed more t...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Jeff Gordon: Negotiating labor peace in star-driven sports is difficult
Agent Scott Boras is having an outsized impact on the contentious return-to-play bargaining between the players and owners.His role is reminiscent of agent David Falk’s involvement in the NBA’s ugly 1990s labor battles. His strong influence illustrates the challenges facing player associations while trying to strike a deal with owners.On one hand, these associations parlay worker solidarity and joint action into gains for all of their members, as any labor union would.On the other hand, they want superstars to earn their full reward for selling tickets, moving merchandise and driving televisio...
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Baseball owners reject players' 114-game proposal, paving way for possible implementation of 50-game mini-season
For weeks, it seemed as if negotiations between Major League Baseball and the Players Association over the economics of a pandemic-shortened season were operating on separate tracks without regard for the issue that mattered most to the other side.Now, it appears there might not be further negotiations at all.MLB rejected the union’s proposal for a 114-game season and full prorated pay for the players and $100 million in deferrals if the postseason is canceled, a source confirmed Thursday. The owners weren’t expected to go for that, just as the players last week predictably vetoed MLB’s plan f...
The Philadelphia Inquirer