D-backs’ Ken Kendrick advocates revenue sharing for avoiding conflict

Jun 24, 2020, 4:13 PM
Arizona Diamondbacks managing general partner Ken Kendrick watches warm ups before the National Lea...
Arizona Diamondbacks managing general partner Ken Kendrick watches warm ups before the National League Divisional Series game three against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Chase Field on October 9, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

Arizona Diamondbacks managing general partner Ken Kendrick acknowledges that the negotiations were not good between Major League Baseball owners and its players recently.

“The enemy of all of us has been the virus through this period from the spring to now, but we became enemies of one another and put it on the side,” Kendrick told Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo Wednesday. “And that’s kind of a sad commentary, but it did happen.”

In fact, the negotiation didn’t end with resolve and agreement. Instead, negotiations ceased and commissioner Rob Manfred stepped in to helps institute a season. That doesn’t portend well for negotiations that lie around the corner, when MLB’s collective bargaining agreement expires at the end of 2021.

“One of the subjects [in an owners meeting Wednesday] was exactly that,” Kendrick said. “And we need to recognize the atmosphere that we just have been through, the circumstances that played out the way they played out. And we have a reasonable period of time to hopefully change the atmosphere between us and the players association.”

Kendrick advocated for a revenue sharing system, something he’s publicly lobbied for before. He argues that it would force two sides to work together on issues that would raise more funding for both.

“I think it would be very easy to see, had the revenue sharing model existed through this very bad period we’ve been in, we would have been spending our time not beating each other up over ‘I win, you lose,’ but we would have been working on, ‘How do we create revenues in a difficult environment that we will both benefit from?'” Kendrick said. “Things like the additional playoff games, like the patches on the uniforms. Players had aversion to some of those things. But if they were clear that they were going to get a defined piece of those dollars, I think they would have been way different in their mindsets about what to do and how to do it and how we would all benefit.

“The other sports operate from that model. Now, we have a long history of the players group being opposed to that. But I’d like to believe that nothing is forever and I hope they will have learned from this bad experience that we’ve just come through that there is a better way to do this going forward.”

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