Chicago Cubs: Rob Manfred ‘not confident’ 2020 MLB season will happen

Chicago Cubs / Rob Manfred (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)
Chicago Cubs / Rob Manfred (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images) /

No Cubs baseball this year? It’s a real possibility according to Rob Manfred.

Less than a week ago, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred was ‘100 percent’ certain there would be baseball this year – in some form. But apparently, that’s no longer the case, meaning it may be 2021 or beyond when we next see the Chicago Cubs take the field.

A report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan details the league’s new stance on whether or not the MLB slate will take place this year, with Manfred telling Mike Greenberg:

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"“I’m not confident. I think there’s real risk; and as long as there’s no dialogue, that real risk is gonna continue.”"

On June 10 – that’s right, just five days ago, he told reporters, “We’re going to play baseball in 2020 — 100 percent.” What changed? The MLBPA rejected the league’s latest offer which, once again, did not guarantee full prorated salaries. That should surprise absolutely nobody. The player’s union has held firm in that demand and has not shown even the slightest sign of caving to the league’s demands.

Naturally, Manfred defended the 30 team owners (big shocker there) – telling ESPN they’re “a hundred percent committed to getting baseball back on the field.” I’m sorry – that’s a farce. They might be committed to getting baseball back on the field, but they’ve made it pretty clear that it’s on their terms – period.

Fans overwhelmingly side with the players over the owners – and why shouldn’t they? Sure, we’re talking about millionaires compared to billionaires, but players asking for prorated salaries is hardly a tall ask. What it comes down to is this: the people holding the purse, including Cubs owner Tom Ricketts, had no problem raking people over the coals during the good times. Now that times are tough, all the sudden owning a big league club isn’t such a lucrative gig and we should all feel pity toward them.

Uh huh.

"“The scale of losses across the league is biblical,” Ricketts told Jesse Rogers two weeks ago. “The timing of the work stoppage, the inability to play was right before the season started. We’re looking at 30 teams with zero revenue. To cover the losses, all teams have gone out and borrowed. There’s no other way to do it in the short run. In the long run, we may be able to sell equity to cover some of our losses but that’s in the long run.”"

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I’m not saying that it’s not a tough spot. I’m sure it is. But this is a time, given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and civil unrest, that the country needs baseball back. We saw the healing power of the sport in the wake of the September 11 attacks nearly 20 years ago. Instead, we’ve got a group of power-hungry individuals who are seemingly content putting profits and pocketbooks over people.