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No matter how you slice it, it comes up 35%

Owners keep changing their wording, but offering players the same deal

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Snowshoe baseball Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

MLB Owners’ Latest Offer Even Worse Than the Last One
Craig Edwards, FanGraphs

Prior to today, MLB owners had made one offer to the Major League Baseball Players Association to resume the season, one that included a renegotiation of the pro-rated player pay agreed to back in March. That proposal, made on May 26, was for 82 games and included about $1 billion in pay cuts from the March agreement. The offer seemed to unite the players rather than divide them, and five days later, the MLBPA proposed to play 114 games with expanded playoffs over the next two years. MLB has floated a 48-game schedule at full pro-rated pay, but never made that offer. Now, more than a week after the players made their proposal, the owners have responded with a proposal that’s somehow worse than their offer from two weeks ago.

Edwards is no-b.s., which you might sniff in the articles below, so let’s lead off with the very best piece on the subject. My thumbnail takeaway: Ownership keeps making essentially the same offer, in different clothing. That’s not negotiation; it’s masturbation.

How Major League Baseball can save itself beyond 2021
Buster Olney, ESPN

This is the how baseball's destructive standoff needs to end: The owners, with greater wealth and with the lasting stewardship of the game, need to emerge from their bargaining bunker and extend themselves into the middle ground with an offer of a significant concession. Maybe a season of 81 games -- a number of significance, because it's exactly half of the regular schedule -- with a very high percentage of the players' prorated salary. Maybe not 100%, but something that represents a legitimate good-faith proffer.

A fantasy selection from Buster? Well, we all need some hope in these dark times.

A July 4 return is all but gone, with baseball as far from a deal as ever
Ken Rosenthal, The Athletic

So, forget July 4. Just tell us, oh squabbling parties, how low do you want to go? A 50-game season that would carry little credibility one year after the Washington Nationals started 19-31 in their first 50 games, only to win the World Series? A canceled season that would result in the sport going dark for nearly 18 months, diminishing income for all parties, wreking players’ careers and deflating owners’ precious resale values in the process?

Find the typo predicated by last week’s layoffs in the lede! I kid, Athletic, sorta. Ken has reached pouting stage. Which I’d make fun of, except what other stage should us innocent victims of this craziness be doing right now?

Inside MLB's financials fight - and the numbers to solve it
Jeff Passan, ESPN

There are simple solutions for baseball's return. They're right there, waiting for owners and players to embrace before the parties unleash more damage on the sport.

Jeff breaks down the numbers. Spoiler: The money the two sides are fighting over is a fraction of what baseball pulls in for a typical year. I don’t think he says it, expressly, so I will: That’s reason for owners to bend.

On that note, Norma Rae Doolittle weighed in on Twitter:

His entire thread is worth looking up.

I plan to have a lighter, bonus selection of stories later today.

Morning Music
You’re just going to have to indulge me a repeat selection.

I’ve gotten to know Living Colour over the years, first dating back to the Stain era in the early 1990s. Vernon Reid’s genius. Corey Glover’s exuberance and muscle. William Calhoun’s poetry. Doug Wimbish holding it all together, backbone and stomp both. They’re good men, and to see them get some form of second or third act in their career, reformed and still rebel yelling, is heartening.

This is a live version of a song from the band’s exquisite 1990 release, Time’s Up. I’d apologize for the heavy selections, but we are currently in heavy times.