As talks between the MLB and MLBPA continue over starting up the 2020 season, one executive believes the two sides are getting closer to a deal than recent indications may suggest.
According to C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic, Cincinnati Red President of Baseball Operations Dick Williams believes an agreement is getting "very close."
This report runs contrary to just about everything that has come out regarding this standoff in recent weeks. The owners and the players have remained far apart on a potential season timeline and a roadmap for dividing league revenues. There have even been rumors that a deal may not get done at any point, meaning there would be no baseball in 2020.
If the MLB plays zero games in 2020, it would be catastrophic for the league. Baseball has slowly lost ground in the North American sporting hierarchy in the current generation, and the average age of fans continues to rise. With the NHL and NBA almost certain to come back at some point this summer, it would be a terrible look for baseball to be unable to have any games at all.
The league would also lose an entire season's worth of revenue without live action. Players will lose a year of their careers. It's nearly unprecedented for a league to miss an entire season; the impacts would be widespread and substantial.
In the end, however, the real losers would be the fans. Every year, millions of fans all around the world watch Major League Baseball. We use baseball as an escape, something that's even more important this year. Everything is upside down, and the normality of the national pastime would mean so much to so many fans.
Hopefully, Dick Williams is right and the deal will get done shortly. But forgive us for being skeptical.