The Owners’ Latest Offer Gets Us No Closer to Baseball Season

© Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

You didn’t have to be a cynical curmudgeon to know that Saturday’s meeting between Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association would not magically produce a deal for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, thus allowing spring training to begin on time. With its “defensive” lockout and subsequent failure to officially offer more than one proposal to the players on core economic issues over the previous 71 days — a counterintuitive definition of “jumpstart,” never before observed in the wild — the league had already made abundantly clear the fantastical nature of any dates attached to pitchers and catchers reporting. By prematurely calling for the entry of a federal mediator into the proceedings after the barest attempt to negotiate, by telling the media that “phones work two ways” when it comes to bargaining, by downplaying the financial benefits of owning a team relative to investing in the stock market, and by mischaracterizing the owners’ latest proposal for the Competitive Balance Tax rates, commissioner Rob Manfred and the owners have made it clear in recent weeks that they aren’t ready to play ball. And so, for the foreseeable future, there will be no major league baseball played.

Manfred has yet to make a formal announcement to that effect because no spring training games have been scrubbed thus far, but via USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, that could happen by the end of this week, as the exhibition season is scheduled to begin on February 26. During his press conference last week, Manfred didn’t offer a deadline for an agreement that would keep the March 31 date for Opening Day intact, though he did express a desire for a minimum of four weeks of spring training, suggesting that the league has absorbed at least one lesson from the frenzied and contentious run-up to the 2020 season and the soaring injury rates that followed. Nightengale reported February 28 as the deadline for an agreement that would preserve Opening Day, though with 197 unsigned arbitration-eligible players and nearly 300 free agents (his figures), such a compressed timeframe would create a level of chaos and logistical difficulty that would make Team Entropy cringe.

If you’re expecting this column to both-sides the failure to hash out a new CBA, to assign equal blame to the MLBPA as to the owners, you’ll have to look elsewhere. This is a lockout, not a strike. It is entirely of the owners’ doing — you could say they own it — and entirely unnecessary, because the 2022 season could be played under the terms of the previous CBA until a new one is in place. The two sides would need to agree to restore the old agreement’s Competitive Balance Tax, Joint Drug Agreement, and domestic violence policy — all of which have technically expired as of December 1, 2021 — until such a point, and that may not be trivial, but it would be a rare glimpse of good faith. Based on the minimal concessions the owners have been offering, not to mention the widening gap between revenues and salaries over the past decade, they must like that old CBA pretty well, because they seem reluctant to change things too radically.

Yes, the two sides have agreed that the new CBA will include a draft lottery of some kind as well as a universal designated hitter and the elimination of draft pick compensation, as Manfred announced on Thursday. But the owners have refused to budge from the status quo on the years to free agency and arbitration, as well as revenue sharing, and the two sides remain miles apart on the core economic issues addressed in Saturday’s proposal. The players are not amused. Via The Athletic’s Evan Drellich and Ken Rosenthal:

There are some [players] who would have preferred that the union had not made its last counter offer at all. Some of the same sentiment cropped up Saturday, based on a feeling that MLB is moving too little to consistently warrant counter-offers.

Because Saturday, when MLB made its first economics proposal of February, was predictably just like everything else that preceded it. MLB made moves it thought the players should consider significant, and the players felt, again, lowballed and frustrated. Some players fear that with their counter-offers they essentially are bidding against themselves. The league says it has the same fear with its own offers to players.

While there’s certainly interplay between the various economic facets under discussion, no single issue illustrates the distance between the two sides, and MLB’s unwillingness to yield, more than the Competitive Balance Tax structure. Over the past decade, the tax threshold has not kept pace with revenue (or, for that matter, inflation), and it has functioned as a soft salary cap that even the wealthiest teams have been willing to approach but very rarely go over; per The Athletic, the Phillies, Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, and Astros all finished with payrolls less than $4 million below the first CBT threshold in 2021. From that roundtable, using figures from Forbes and the Associated Press, here’s The Athletic’s oft-circulated graph showing the separation between the revenue and the lowest threshold:

In Thursday’s press conference, Manfred mischaracterized the owners’ previous proposal as being similar to last year’s structure with regards to the tax. Via ESPN’s Jeff Passan:

Manfred said the league had proposed taxation rates that were “status quo.” This was incorrect. In recent years, the tax rate was 20% for teams over the $210 million threshold, 32% at $230 million and 62.5% at $250 million. MLB’s proposal calls for a 50% rate at a $214 million threshold, 75% at $234 million and 100% at $254 million. Additionally, teams would lose a third-round draft pick at the first threshold, a second-round pick at the second and a first-round pick at the largest.

Admittedly, things get a bit confusing when trying to distinguish between the penalties for moving up a tier ($20 million or $40 million above the first tax threshold) and those for repeated annual violations. Using MLB Trade Rumors, The Athletic and the expired CBA, I’ve attempted to summarize the CBT’s recent history and the basics of the three economic proposals that have been officially exchanged since the beginning of the lockout (two offered by the league, one by the players). First, here’s a look at the thresholds:

Competitive Balance Tax Thresholds
Year Threshold ($Mil) Annual Change
2012 $178 0.0%
2013 $178 0.0%
2014 $189 6.2%
2015 $189 0.0%
2016 $189 0.0%
2017 $195 3.2%
2018 $197 1.0%
2019 $206 4.6%
2020 $208 1.0%
2021 $210 1.0%
MLB 1/13 Proposal
2022 $214 1.9%
2023 $214 0.0%
2024 $214 0.0%
2025 $216 0.9%
2026 $220 1.9%
MLB 2/12 Proposal
2022 $214 1.9%
2023 $214 0.0%
2024 $216 0.9%
2025 $218 0.9%
2026 $222 1.8%
MLBPA 1/24 Proposal
2022 $245 16.7%
2023 $252 2.9%
2024 $259 2.8%
2025 $266 2.7%
2026 $273 2.6%

As you can see, the first threshold has barely budged in recent years, falling short of even a typical 2% or 3% cost-of-living adjustment, let alone the rate of inflation. As MLB Trade Rumors’ Tim Dierkes explained, “A simple 5% increase per year beginning in 2012 would have put the 2021 base tax threshold around $290MM, yet it sat only at $210MM.”

Note that rather than ordering the official proposals chronologically in the table above, I’ve kept the owners’ two proposals adjacent to illustrate how little they differ. The second one increased the thresholds for each of the last three years of the upcoming CBA by a whole $2 million a year. It took the owners a month to come up with that, though to be fair, they did also do away with teams exceeding the first tier losing a third-round draft pick (worth $3.8 million by Craig Edwards’ 2019 estimates, and probably not much more now).

Here’s what those penalties look like:

Competitive Balance Tax Penalties
Amount Payroll Exceeds Base Tax Threshold ($M) 1st-Time 2nd-Time 3rd-Time+ Draft
2017-21
<$20 (Base Tax Rate) 20% 30% 50%
$20-$40 (Base Tax + 1st Surcharge Rate) 32% 42% 62%
>$40 (Base Tax + 2nd Surcharge Rate) 62.5% 75% 95% (1)
MLB 1/13 Proposal
<$20 (Base Tax Rate) 50% 50% 50% (2)
$20-$40 (Base Tax + 1st Surcharge Rate) 75% 75% 75% (2)
>$40 (Base Tax + 2nd Surcharge Rate) 100% 100% 100% (2)
MLB 2/12 Proposal
<$20 (Base Tax Rate) 50% 50% 50% (3)
$20-$40 (Base Tax + 1st Surcharge Rate) 75% 75% 75% (3)
>$40 (Base Tax + 2nd Surcharge Rate) 100% 100% 100% (3)
MLBPA 1/24 Proposal
<$20 (Base Tax Rate) 20% 30% 50%
$20-$40 (Base Tax + 1st Surcharge Rate) 32% 42% 62%
>$40 (Base Tax + 2nd Surcharge Rate) 62.5% 75% 95%
(1) = for payrolls at least $40M above threshold, team’s highest pick dropped 10 places unless the pick was among the top six; in that case, team’s second-highest pick dropped 10 places.

(2) = third round pick surrendered for teams in Tier 1, second-round pick surrendered for teams in Tier 2, first-round pick surrendered for teams in Tier 3

(3) = second-round pick surrendered for teams in Tier 2, first-round pick surrendered for teams in Tier 3

While the players’ first post-lockout proposal attempts to make up a bit of the lost ground with a substantial jump in the CBT threshold, it maintains the same tiered and annual penalties that were in the last CBA. Meanwhile, the tiered penalties in the league’s two offers have become more severe even while the thresholds have barely moved. Even with the removal of escalating repeater penalties and the draft pick penalties for teams exceeding the first threshold, the owners’ proposal appears designed to continue the effects of the last CBA, during which the average salary fell by 6.4% relative to 2017, with the brunt borne by baseball’s middle class; via the Associated Press’ Ronald Blum, the median salary dropped 30%, from $1.65 million in 2015 to $1.15 million in ’21.

Regardless of the other bells and whistles in the deal, the players simply don’t believe that the structure of the owners’ proposals will allow them to grow their salaries. As pitcher Alex Wood put it via Twitter on Saturday:

Beyond the tax structure, the two sides are far apart on the minimum salary, which in 2021 stood at $570,500, the lowest of the “big four” North American team sports according to The Score’s Travis Sawchick (the NBA’s $925,258 is the highest, and even the NHL comes in at $750,000), and only about 12% higher than in 2016, with annual growth of less than 2% in each of the past four years. What’s more, none of those other sports rely on that minimum-salary labor more than baseball. Via Sawchik, 63.2% of all players in 2019 had less than three years of service time, meaning that they were generally making some function of the league minimum. Those players accounted for 53.6% of all service time accumulated, but only 9.8% of player pay. Via Ben Clemens, in 2021, players making the minimum accounted for 47% of service time accrued, but only 7.5% of player pay. Via Nightengale, 1,145 of the 1,670 players on rosters last year (68.6%) made less than $1 million — a reminder that calling this a fight between millionaires and billionaires is off base.

The union has proposed increasing the minimum salary to $775,000. After making a preliminary offer of $600,000 during negotiations in mid-December, the league offered straight salaries of $615,000, $650,000 and $700,000 for players with 0-1, 1-2, and 2-3 years of service time in their mid-January proposal. On Saturday, they proposed raising the salary for the third year to $725,000, and offered an alternative as well, a flat minimum of $630,000 in the first year of the deal; that’s 10.4% above the current minimum, a jump that would be the largest since the 2012 CBA increased the minimum from $414,00 to $480,000 (15.9%), but it’s less than $6,400 ahead of what the minimum would be if the last CBA’s 2017 minimum ($535,000) had grown with inflation. Under that structure, teams would be able to give raises for subsequent years, but would also be able to unilaterally renew contracts with smaller or no raises as well, just as they have for ages.

Along with the proposals for the minimum salary come proposals for a pre-arbitration bonus pool, where the gap between the two sides might best be described as a chasm. Via ESPN’s Jesse Rogers:

The league increased its offer from $10 million to $15 million while offering a six-person panel — three from each side — to develop a mutually agreeable WAR statistic to allocate the funds. The top 30 players in WAR and award winners would be eligible for the bonus pool.

The union has asked for a $100 million bonus pool, down from a previous offer of $105 million.

The latter reduction came as part of negotiations since the MLBPA’s first formal post-lockout offer. That the two sides have reduced the gap from $95 to $85 million doesn’t exactly count as progress, though to call back to the aforementioned Clemens analysis of the players’ first proposal, the amount in question is now less than 1% of the league’s annual revenues. The structure of how the money would be divided up isn’t clear, but the league’s figure would mean an average of an additional $500,000 for those top 30 players, while the union’s figure would mean an average of $3.33 million — a substantial difference.

Here it’s worth mentioning that nobody who’s in the business of presenting WAR values, not FanGraphs or Baseball Reference or Baseball Prospectus, is comfortable with the idea of its estimates of performance values being deployed in the direct service of determining player salaries. As our own managing editor Meg Rowley said on a recent Effectively Wild podcast:

“This assumes a precision to WAR that, I think people who think WAR is a really useful framework through which to understand baseball would be very quick to tell you, is not present. So what happens if you are the 31st-most valuable pre-arb player and the difference in value between you and the 30th-most valuable is less than half a win? You’re probably not the same, but you’re within our margin for error on this.”

Other elements of MLB’s proposal that ESPN highlighted pertained to service time manipulation, roster continuity, pre-draft physicals and a restoration of the draft-and-follow system. Via Rogers, “The league increased the incentive for teams to keep their best prospects in the majors, offering them two draft picks within the player’s first three years if he finishes in the top three in Cy Young, Rookie of the Year or MVP voting. Previously, the league had offered one extra draft pick per player within his first three years.”

The example Rogers offered was Kris Bryant; had the Cubs kept him up for all of 2015 instead of farming him out for the first 12 days of the season to [check notes] work on his defense — thus leaving him one day short of collecting a full year of service time — they’d have netted one pick for him winning that year’s Rookie of the Year award, and a second one for his MVP award in 2016.

On the subject of roster continuity, the CBA would limit the total number of times a player could be optioned to the minors in a season to five, which could make a significant difference in the quality of life for pitchers at the bottom of the bullpen food chain, the ones vulnerable to getting sent down if they’ve thrown so many pitches that they won’t be available for a day or two. To cite just a few extreme examples, the past year alone saw the Rays option Louis Head 12 times, with the Dodgers optioning Mitch White 11 times, and likewise for the Yankees with regards to Albert Abreu.

On the subject of pre-draft physicals, in what could be called the Kumar Rocker rule (though, as is often the case for players expected to be drafted highly, the Vanderbilt pitcher did not submit to one), the league has proposed that a player who submits to one and is subsequently drafted will be guaranteed at least 75% of slot value and can’t be failed by the team in a post-draft physical. As for the draft-and-follow, the league has proposed reinstating the ability of team to draft a player who’s not yet ready for professional baseball and then sign him the next year. In this case, the team can draft such a player, send him to junior college for one year, and sign him for as much as $225,000 the next year.

For as helpful as those elements may or may not be, they’re of much smaller scale compared to the CBT, the minimum salary, and the structure of arbitration, regarding which “the league has said it won’t move off the status quo,” according to Rogers.

Even with the lack of progress and the players voicing their frustrations, it’s worth noting that the immediate asymmetry of the situation favors the union. Players don’t get paid for spring training, so they won’t feel the bite of missed games as suddenly as the owners will when their exhibition dates begin to dwindle. The owners obviously have much more ability to absorb the loss of games long-term than the players do, but given the empty ballparks of 2020 and the reduced attendance last year, their resolve may be tested more quickly than that of the union. The players appear galvanized and geared up for a stand via which they can regain some of the ground they’ve lost, and guarantee their rank and file significantly more security, financial and otherwise, than they currently enjoy.





Brooklyn-based Jay Jaffe is a senior writer for FanGraphs, the author of The Cooperstown Casebook (Thomas Dunne Books, 2017) and the creator of the JAWS (Jaffe WAR Score) metric for Hall of Fame analysis. He founded the Futility Infielder website (2001), was a columnist for Baseball Prospectus (2005-2012) and a contributing writer for Sports Illustrated (2012-2018). He has been a recurring guest on MLB Network and a member of the BBWAA since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @jay_jaffe.

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Richiemember
6 months ago

For anyone who was “expecting this (Fangraphs!!) column to both-sides the failure to hash out a new CBA, to assign equal blame to the MLBPA as to the owners”, man oh golly gee whilickers do I have an-sale bridge just for you!

Richiemember
6 months ago
Reply to  Richie

“an on-sale”

cartermember
6 months ago
Reply to  Richie

Well, that is because there isn’t equal blame.

OddBall Herrera
6 months ago
Reply to  carter

Doesn’t take genius level observation skills to predict where Fangraphs is going to come down on this issue. The part I don’t like here is that the assumption is that it is basically pure greed that is driving owners’ actions, it’s basically accepted as a prior. I would like a little more inspection/discussion of how owners may be rational actors while not portraying them as Monopoly Man charicatures. I know I will get dinged by many who, again, feel that such a position doesn’t even need to be supported, but still, ex:

Surge in revenue is tied to TV contracts, which I think is hugely in line for a correction. Lower viewership numbers and the rise of streaming are going to kill these contracts whenever they are up for renewal, just look at the albatross that is the Olympics rights. So this is a short term windfall, not a stable economic foundation. If you are an owner and see that coming, are you excited about getting locked into a CBA that bakes in current revenue as stable? Particularly if people Also aren’t coming to games anymore? Honestly, I worry about the fundamental economics of baseball given it’s waning popularity and think we may very soon see significant changes to the game’s structure (ex: does having 162 games that few watch even make sense anymore? Does maintaining these huge fields that are mostly empty most of the time?) that are out of the hands of both players and owners. If owners see this coming down the road, who is irrational, owners or an MLBPA that demands a bigger piece of a pie that very soon may be much smaller?

These are just questions! The answers are very likely a mix between “owners are rational” and “owners are greedy”, maybe I am overly pessimistic about MLB’s prospects, but these are the types of questions that don’t get asked if you just reflexively settle in to the popular narrative.

cowdisciplemember
6 months ago

OK, but if there are real economic concerns on the part of the owners, they need to open the books (at least to MLBPA) to be credible. If they won’t do that, MLBPA is entirely correct to call bullshit.

The owners are determined to treat the players as employees rather than as business partners. Unless that changes, why should the players care?

OddBall Herrera
6 months ago
Reply to  cowdisciple

Agree I don’t think you can in good faith make a case about the economics of the game and demand the books be closed. I can see some reason there too – they probably don’t want to have to litigate with fans every year why they are spending X % of revenue and not some arbitrary X + Y % Cubs Twitter has settled on, and they also probably really don’t want it spelled out to the public how much they have enriched themselves on the public dime, the latter of which I find far more objectionable . I am not saying these people are saints, just that you usually get closer to the truth presuming people are rational than if you presume they are ogres.

Anon21
6 months ago

Opening the books to the players doesn’t mean opening the books to the public. You can have any individual players (presumably the union’s senior leadership) who will review the financial documents sign NDAs.

cowdisciplemember
6 months ago

I don’t assume they’re ogres. I assume their number one priority is their economic self interest, which they see as extracting every possible cent from the players, the municipalities, the cable networks, and anyone else involved. I also think they’re VERY interested in demonstrating (again) that MLBPA is not capable of forcing them to amend their proposals in a meaningful way.

I definitely think the owners are being short-sighted and risking the long term value of their franchises with this brinkmanship.

bigj
6 months ago

People are rational? I think even economics doesn’t posit that anymore. People are motivated by greed, love, power, hope, fear, connection, anger etc and then use motivated reasoning to justify their wants, desires, hopes, fears etc. So do we have any clues about the motivations of the owners? We can look at their public statements and their public actions. We can look at what we know about how small clubs of extremely wealthy white men generally think about themselves and act towards others. Where does that take us? “Ogres?” No. “Entitled?” “Ruthless?” “Confident in their own superiority?” “More interested in their own perceived well-being, sense of power, and wealth than basically anything else?”
Generally, yeah…. Those might be some starters.

OddBall Herrera
6 months ago
Reply to  bigj

True that people aren’t always rational, but we should start a discussion with how rational actors in the owners’ shoes would behave and work from there.

Mostly I am just making the argument that what might seem like “both sides ism” is merely an attempt to delve into the motivations and behaviors of parties for a more informed discussion, NOT an attempt to enforce artificial moral equivalence in everything

MCC1701member
6 months ago

I’d be more willing to think the owners are motivated by some concern other pure profit maximization if their CBT proposal were a less punitive and they were willing to remove some of the strings associated with their salary floor proposals. If the owners cared about PR wins, they should be willing to spend a little more money to make things better for minor league players and encourage lower spending teams to increase payroll, to at least look like they are being competitive. If the owners really feared about losing long term cable money, they would try harder to get fans in their ballparks and loosen the blackout rules. Fans will pay, to watch their favorite team, but you have to give them reasons to want to watch. It’s hard to talk about risky financial propositions when the sport reported record revenues for years.

sogoodlooking
5 months ago
Reply to  bigj

@bigj Appalling, really, that you thought to distinguish team owners by race and gender as if wealthy women and non-whites are, by nature, somehow less ‘entitled,’ ‘ruthless,’ etc. than white men. Or that those members of ownership groups or shareholders who are women or non-white have been agitating for something more altruistic. Disgusting, really, in addition to the utter, abject mindlessness of it.

I’m astonished a site that prides itself on rationality allows your revolting remark to stand. Would it do the same with a post targeting women in this way, or non-whites? Has it ever?

Albymember
6 months ago

Why can’t they be both?

Sportszillamember
6 months ago

Wouldn’t you see more teams up for sale if the future outlook seemed this bleak to some owners?

Cpins
6 months ago
Reply to  cowdisciple

Per the CBA owners do provide audited financials to the MLBPA. They are not publicly available to fans or the press but they are mandated to be provided to the MLBPA. This is why I imagine that the perception of owners making outrageous annual cash-flow profits might be a little off-the-mark. If that’s the case the MLBPA ought to be aggressively messaging “profits are up x% while player comp was down last season.”

What is not included in the financials is things like real estate development revenues associated with some of the new parks i.e. ATL. I think the union is missing the boat on not fighting to re-define what counts as revenue like those real estate deals, gambling revenue.

jdr
6 months ago
Reply to  Cpins

“What is not included in the financials is things like real estate development revenues associated with some of the new parks”

As well as revenue earned by associated businesses. MLB owners are famous for taking part in the time-honored corporate tradition of hiding income in other businesses or jurisdictions that their governing body (in this case MLB and their agreement with the MLBPA) has no oversight over. During the RSN boom the big-market teams began keeping massive profits within their television networks, which of course the team’s owners had a huge stake in. Or Frank McCourt owning all the parking lots around Dodgers Stadium. None of this is “team” revenue so the players get no cut of it, even though that revenue is entirely extant on the existence of the team.

Albymember
6 months ago

“Locked in” for three years? That’s how long a CBA has usually lasted in the past.

Examine your own assumptions here. Your assessment of the future of the sport, its popularity, etc. is extremely biased.

You also overlook the possibility that they start out from a rational position but — and just look at how these people made their money in the first place — that position is determined by the fact that they’re greedy jerks.

Matthew Liebling
5 months ago

Maybe fewer fields would be empty if all the teams were consistently trying to win? Just a wild and crazy thought.

MikeSmember
6 months ago
Reply to  Richie

The fact that the owners would continue with the old CBA and be perfectly happy tells you everything you need to know about how fair that deal was. The only reason the owners locked out the players was to control the process. Otherwise they risk losing playoff games, which is when they make money that they don’t really share with the players. They didn’t want the players to have that leverage.

Even now, I bet the owners don’t care if they lose some regular season games, especially if they get to pay pro-rated salaries, as long as they get their playoff money. Just like 2020.

averagejoe15member
6 months ago
Reply to  MikeS

Yea saying the owners could just offer to continue under the old CBA is just a bad business decision for them. They’d end up paying the players most of their salary only for the players to strike before the playoffs.

That situation would also be significantly worse for the MLB as a product than the delay we are set to experience.

Albymember
6 months ago
Reply to  averagejoe15

Don’t be absurd. Most teams don’t make the playoffs. Their fans would be unaffected.

shampain
6 months ago
Reply to  MikeS

There is no evidence that the players would play under the old CBA, nor that they would commit not to strike under a one-year extension of the CBA to avoid what happened in 1994-95 (which the lockout protects the owners against). A strike that cancels the playoffs after the majority of salaries have been paid is the worst possible scenario for the owners, and the players have made it very clear for years now that a) they find the old CBA unacceptable; b) they are willing to engage in more extreme negotiating tactics now than at any point since 1995. So the owners probably think they’d strike again. So do I.

Neither side has stated that they would be willing to proceed under that scenario. Neither side has made an offer along those lines, and the owners’ proposals that are closest to the old CBA have been rejected by the players as “underwhelming” or worse. When Adam Wainwright casually suggested the players *might* play under that scenario he got shushed by his own side very quickly.

When I say there is “no evidence” for these things I mean that literally. You’ll note that the paragraph that describes this scenario contains no links or quotes, in an otherwise heavily-sourced article. Every other paragraph in the piece (outside of the conclusion) has at least one link or sourced quote except for that paragraph. I.e., it’s speculation. It could be correct, maybe Jaffe has ITK sources or something, but I don’t think so because he admits that this would not be a trivial negotiation (almost immediately after suggesting it could be). Quite frankly I think it is incorrect that both sides would play under a one-year extension of the CBA. If I was a player *or* owner I would refuse to do that. Everyone’s already in the crap now, may as well get this resolved permanently, one way or the other; band-aids aren’t going to help at this point.

This was pointed out to Jaffe on Twitter — not by me, I hadn’t encountered the argument until just now — several days before he published this article. So he should be aware of this counterargument already. The fact that he either isn’t, or chose to act as if it doesn’t exist, makes me raise an eyebrow.

The players have said for years that they’ve wanted a fight, setting the stage for all of this, so it’s strange to act as if the owners just woke up on Dec 1 and decided to lock the players out for no discernable reason. Jaffe himself referred to the CBA battle as a “war” in a chat back in July, 2020. The players wanted a fight so the owners are giving them one.

It’s no contradiction to support the players and still acknowledge that.

Max Power
5 months ago
Reply to  shampain

This is why I am no longer a member of this site. Jay and Meg could easily write an article blasting the owners, which many would agree with, without deliberately lying to the readers. They say, no, we really need to go the extra 5% to show how terrible the owners are, and so they just lie and lie repeatedly. It would be so antithetical to their points of view to write an article that is 95% in favor of players but maybe just maybe include 5% of counter-evidence.

Meanwhile, the pro-labor anti-semitic Twitter trolls take it and have a field day with it.

drewsylvaniamember
5 months ago
Reply to  Max Power

Adjust your 5G hat, you’re not getting enough lasers.

vonstott
5 months ago
Reply to  Max Power

I remember the good old days when accusing someone of “deliberately lying” would be followed by evidence or at the very least an example.

Too hard, maybe. Here’s your participation trophy.

drewsylvaniamember
5 months ago
Reply to  Richie

Bootlicker.