Only in Baseball 2020 can even a rare win seem like a loss.
A week ago, the Players Association threw up its hands and all but dared commissioner Rob Manfred to put forth his proposal for an implemented schedule. The previous weekend had yielded no progress, and the union began to suspect -- not without reason -- that Manfred and the owners were merely slow-playing the process, killing time until they could impose their plan on a resigned Players Association.
But that thinking failed to take into account one critical element to Manfred's agenda: the commissioner and the owners were deathly afraid that imposing a schedule on the players would ultimately result in an unfair labor practice grievance that could potentially cost the owners billions.
Hoping to avoid that scenario, Manfred flew to Arizona to present a revised proposal to PA executive director TonyClark. It marked the first face-to-face negotiations for the respective leaders since March.
In the interim, there's were counter-proposals, tweaks to the original Manfred offer, plenty of grandstanding and no progress of which to speak.
On Monday, the Players Association executive board, consisting of player representatives for all 30 teams plus the eight members of the executive sub-committee, voted down a 60-game schedule by a tally of 33-5. Soon after, ESPN and other outlets reported that owners voted to give Manfred the go-ahead to implement a 60-game schedule set to begin around July 24.
Loosely translated then, the two sides ended up.....exactly where they were a week ago, with the renewed threat of a grievance still hovering over the entire proceedings.
With one key difference: another week has been wasted, another week has come off the calendar.