The day after the players` association rejected an economic agreement and the possibility of suing for damages for hundreds of millions of dollars, the litigants agreed on an operating manual. Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred then unilaterally imposed the schedule, his right as part of an agreement with the union in March. In the interests of fairness to MLB`s owners – who don`t seem to really care about fairness – MLB`s public relations problems in recent months were not entirely self-inflicted. The long economic feud of baseball was caused by COVID-19, which subjected the sport to an unprecedented stress test. MLB passed this test, but it also faced more difficult questions than some of the leagues that managed the situation smoothly. The NBA and NHL had finished most of their regular seasons (with fans in the stands) when the pandemic struck. These leagues had amassed most of their expected revenue, and their players had already received most of their salaries. The NFL season is not expected to start for five months and can still start as scheduled. In addition, unlike MLB, the NFL, NBA and NHL have previous revenue-sharing agreements that have reduced some of the economic uncertainty. Unlike the leagues to which he is often compared, MLB had to postpone the start of the season. Determine how, when and where a second spring training can be organized; haggling over the length, layout and safety of a season that is totally fan-free; and share the revenues in agreement with a stronger union than other sports. Like most commissioners, Manfred will not lose his job because the fans despise him. (When Roger Goodell`s popularity was deepest, the owners gave him an increase.) The only thing that could cost him his position is to lose the trust of his bosses, who we know he had recently.
In November 2018, the owners unanimously approved a five-year extension for Manfred, which keeps him under contract until 2024. Between this long-term contract, the growing revenues of the sport during his tenure, his hard-boiled history with work, the upcoming CBA negotiations and the singularity of the problems caused by COVID-19, Manfred probably has enough time to last a long time. But he doesn`t seem to have a blissful hand in private politics, and if he told the owners that the March agreement would not commit them to proportional wages, some homeowners might be upset by the fiasco that followed. The Red Sox were unable to reach a deal with Mookie Betts for a salary for the 2017 season, so they renewed his contract at $US 950,000 — up from the $US566,000 he earned in 2016.