This Could Be the Smoking Gun That Proves MLB Owners Were Phonies All Along

St Louis Cardinals catcher Yadi Molina expresses disappointment
St Louis Cardinals catcher Yadi Molina expresses disappointment / Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Major League Baseball owners are never a group that draws much sympathy from baseball fans. That is especially true in 2020, as the battle between players and owners continues to rage on here in the middle of June, and most (not all) public opinion has swung away from ownership, which continues to cry poor.

The owners are doing their best to force the players to accept a small portion of their promised salaries for the season. The MLBPA advocated for a longer season with full pro-rated pay, as was agreed upon in March, yet the league seems set on something along the lines of a 48- or 50-game season in order to provide players their fully agreed-upon salaries. While owners will continue to try to make the players look bad, WSJ baseball writer Jared Diamond revealed late Saturday the owners are well aware of the players' right to pro-rated play. In fact, they admitted as much in a private letter to the MLBPA lawyer.

Based on this leak, it turns out the league's own lawyer understands that no one should be forced to take on some arbitrary sliding scale as opposed to a proper percentage of pay for games played. Therefore, all this talk about players negotiating in "bad faith" appears to evaporate -- even ownership acknowledged in private that players had the right to exactly what they were demanding!

If this evidence is out there, how are the owners going to win a future grievance about fair negotiating?

This whole situation is a disaster, and both sides have exchanged proposals without much progress. The fact an MLB lawyer stated that players aren't required to accept anything less than prorated salaries would seem to doom the owners in any legal battle about anything other than the agreed-upon pay structure, full stadiums or not. This revelation should give players a bit more leverage, and hopefully make the owners come to their senses and make a deal that doesn't completely screw over the players who actually play the games and bring in the money.