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Statement: MLB players ‘disgusted’ following commissioner’s comments

Jun 15, 2020, 4:03 PM | Updated: 4:06 pm

Nationals Park, home to the World Series Champion Washington Nationals, is empty on the scheduled d...

Nationals Park, home to the World Series Champion Washington Nationals, is empty on the scheduled date for Opening Day March 26, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

A statement from Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark didn’t mince words.

“Players are disgusted that after Rob Manfred unequivocally told players and fans that there would ‘100%’ be a 2020 season, he has decided to go back on his word and is now threatening to cancel the entire season,” Clark said. “Any implication that the players association has somehow delayed progress on health and safety protocols is completely false, as Rob has recently acknowledged the parties are ‘very, very close.’

“This latest threat is just one more indication that Major League Baseball has been negotiating in bad faith since the beginning. This has always been about extracting additional pay cuts from players and this is just another day and another bad faith tactic in their ongoing campaign.”

The statement came not long after ESPN reported that Manfred told the media outlet that he was “not confident” there would be a 2020 season. Just last week, Manfred put the chances of there being a 2020 season at “100%.”

The chance that there will be no MLB season increased substantially Monday when the the commissioner’s office told the players’ association it will not proceed with a schedule unless the threat of legal action by the union is resolved.

MLB informed the union it would announce a schedule and a date for the resumption of spring training if the union agrees to waive claims that MLB violated the March 26 agreement between the sides or if the union agreed to an expedited grievance procedure. MLB said absent a solution, the dispute would remain an impediment to starting play.

MLB’s action was described to The Associated Press by a person familiar with the details who spoke on condition of anonymity because no announcement was authorized.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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Statement: MLB players ‘disgusted’ following commissioner’s comments