MLB plans to experiment with fans’ safety during pandemic postseason

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​Let’s travel back in time to June 8, 2020, for a moment, shall we?

According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, MLB is considering allowing local governments to decide if there will be fans at their games. In Texas, this would mean 50 percent capacity attendance, as governor Greg Abbott announced that would be allowed as of last week. This opens up the opportunity for MLB or its teams to pressure other local governments into allowing fans to attend games, which would be unsafe, but even if MLB’s hands are clean in this regard, that doesn’t make the existence of fans in the stands any safer. There is a reason these two sides are negotiating for how safe they can make a 2020 season — one that was never truly expected to include fans.

So, if this report is true, and MLB really is considering letting fans into their games in the states that are going to allow such a thing — the ones opening up before they should, the ones purposely messing with data to make the pandemic seem like less of a risk than it is, meaning the ones that are also going to be high-risk for further transmission because of a lack of precaution — then it’s even more clear than usual that MLB just cares about what kind of money they can make from 2020, and not the safety of anyone making or giving the money to them.

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How are MiLB players going to live during the offseason, mid-pandemic?

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​Minor League Baseball players have to work in the offseason. Maybe not every minor-league player — a few early draft picks might have received large enough signing bonuses to avoid that fate, and the players on 40-man rosters are making a living wage thanks to being part of the Players Association with the protections and benefits that entail. But the vast majority of the thousands upon thousands of minor leaguers are making sub-poverty level wages, and for just a few months per year. In order to pay rent, eat, and continue to be able to train for their career, these players need to find second jobs to sustain themselves.

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MLB wants to keep the expanded postseason, ruin regular season further

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Major League Baseball and the Players Association agreed to an expanded postseason for the shortened 2020 season, as a way to make up for the revenues lost by not airing any games for the first three months of what would have been the regular season. Now, though, MLB begins part two of their expanded postseason plan: convincing you it is not just a temporary, pandemic-related bug, but instead the kind of feature you should be hoping sticks. Here’s commissioner Rob Manfred, in the Washington Post:

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The History of Baseball Unionization: When vaudeville ended a baseball strike

Major League Baseball players had few rights before the signing of the first collective bargaining agreement in professional sports in 1968. They didn’t get all of their current rights all at once, either: the battle was, and is, an ongoing one. Before the Players Association, before Marvin Miller, there were other attempts to organize baseball players against the bosses. In this series, we’ll investigate each of those attempts, and suss out what went wrong. Here’s part 1 and part 2

The Players Protective Association had a promising start when the budding American League used its desires for better wages and protections to steal players from the reigning National League, but it didn’t end up working out in the long run. That’s because the AL, like the capitalists investing in the Players League before it, ended up partnering with the NL and eliminating themselves as competition in the process.

A little less than a decade later, in 1912, the Fraternity of Professional Baseball Players of America formed, with former player Dave Fultz at the head. Fultz, like John Ward of the Brotherhood of Professional Baseball Players, had a background in law thanks to an education at Colombia, and was a practicing lawyer at the time of the formation of the Fraternity. He also kept in close contact with active players and their concerns, and those conversations — some about their continued gripes about the reserve clause, which no one had been able to permanently get rid of to that point — helped lead to the formation of the Fraternity.

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That time the Padres nearly became San Diego’s forever

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WWE policy change reopens question of independent contractor status

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MLB plans to replace MiLB teams with clubs full of unpaid players

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MLB teams can now open instructional camps, but only if they pay players

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