Doug Glanville, MLB, Npr News discussed on All Things Considered


This is all things considered from NPR news I'm David folk and flick Earlier this week the collective bargaining agreement between Major League Baseball and its players union expired That resulted in pro baseball's first work stoppage in a generation Not to put too fine a point on it The owners of all 30 teams locked out their own players Now this is the off season So there's a couple of months before baseball is to be played Yet the two sides are clashing especially over whether to give players some more money early in their careers If no agreement is reached by the start of training camp next February part or all of the 2022 season could be in jeopardy To learn more we called in Doug glanville to pinch hit He played 9 seasons in the MLB for the cubs the Phillies and the rangers and he was a player union representative during his big league days Doug glanville is now a baseball analyst for marquee Sports Network and ESPN We started our conversation talking about one of the main conflicts right now which focuses on something called service time That refers to the time a player has spent on a major league team's roster From the time you get to the major leagues the clock starts ticking And the big milestone is viewer three You want to play through that three year period You've got arbitration and what happens is then you could submit a number say I'm worth X compared to my peers compared to people with equal service time And then the team will submit another number saying no you're worth this other number And then arbitrator will decide Sometimes you settle before that So that moment is when you go from this minimum salary which is still significant and larger societies 575,000 to this big bump up in arbitration So service time is significant because you can see how artificially you can keep that three year mark down And there's a discomfort between how much control they have and being able to manipulate it to make sure you're under that arbitration number that three year Mark How does it feel like as a player if you think a team is manipulating the rules to try to keep down how much you have to be paid Frustrating frustrating And the big story that was the circle about manipulation was Chris Bryant He formally played for the Chicago Cubs And he had a phenomenal spring training It was a top prospect a third baseman and there was a clear evidence that this guy was a major league player he was ready But they sent them down the cubs kept them in triple-A in the minor leagues for about whatever days they needed 30 days That one month that he was down in the minor leagues and not clocked counting the clock at the major league level kept them from being able to get to arbitration And so the argument was from the team as saying well hey you know this is a great player Of course you want another year of control for you fans You get to keep Chris Bryan another year But the player feels like you're pushing your payday back an entire year just because you were a day or two short of this threshold And so that's a lot of power And that creates a lot of concern for the players I think a lot of fans might look at circumstances and see stratospheric paydays for big ticket free agents higher minimums for rookie ball players new ball players than ever before even accounting for inflation What's the problem with the overall big picture of economics and baseball If everybody is getting a decent payday The challenge is wealth distribution If you look at it and compare to say larger society what is wealth inequality do What happens to a society and an eroding middle class Well you have this concentration of wealth at the top and that at the bottom ownership would say okay these players are cheap And we can just have a bunch of them And what you can do is use that lower class so to speak and upper class to pressure the middle And then they have to compromise And so that's where the Major League Baseball Players Association is concerned because there's a middle class that's disappearing The last collective bargaining year 5 years ago plus that middle class pool in terms of the aggregate of their salaries has gone down significantly Who gets hurt most if negotiations bleed into spring training if we get to February and the next season gets delayed shortened or even canceled Well probably the game overall because the fans the fans I don't know what the appetite is for attracted labor dispute and the history has shown that the owners have not done well when it becomes a strike and we start missing games You can't sell season tickets all these things start to happen Now the trick this time is that in this 25 plus years of labor peace I wouldn't say piece of the right word but labor lack of dispute it's probably worked against the players quite frankly I don't think they've had the gains the distribution of the revenue pool is actually shifted pretty significantly to the owners So peace is actually worked fairly well for the ownership not saying you should encourage going on strike but they should look through what they've gained over the last 25 years and see if it's matched up to saying peace should be rewarded as opposed to pushing you backwards We've been listening to baseball analysts former MLB player Doug glanville Douglas thanks so much Thank you And finally today you might not recall where you heard him last maybe on your streaming service maybe.

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