Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Glavine fears that the MLBPA could get the worst of the blame if players refuse to return to action.
There’s going to be baseball in 2020, right? The idea that league owners and the MLB Players Association would even permit the smallest of chances to exist that a season might not happen feels unconscionable, but here we are.
Money doesn’t just talk — it argues. As a result, the financial standoff between the league and the MLBPA over how revenues would be split this season has grown into a proper crisis. Allow Hall of Fame southpaw Tom Glavine to be the first to suggest, however, that the blame is likely to fall on the players, either fairly or unfairly, if we get zero baseball this year.
“Even if players were 100% justified in what they were complaining about, they’re still going to look bad,” the longtime Atlanta Braves legend and former MLBPA representative said via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, harkening back to the strike that cancelled the remainder of the 1994 season only to be spun off into a narrative built on player greed.
Major League Baseball is poised to absorb losses in the billions of dollars even if, say, an 82-game season with an expanded postseason field can be realized. And even though the money component here is crucial, Glavine warns that players can’t frame this as principally a financial issue.
“I just felt like if I did an interview on the radio or TV, if I had five or 10 minutes, I could make somebody understand what was going on and come to our side. That just wasn’t going to happen,” he said, insisting that framing this standoff as a health and safety issue is the far smarter bet.
Ultimately, baseball is not the NBA. The owners still run the league, not the players. That means they control the narrative, and Glavine can see it from a mile away. A single false move from Tony Clark and the players’ union could produce seriously painful blowback, whether or not such a reaction would be supported by the facts.