Rob Manfred confidently declared he was 100 percent certain there would be a Major League Baseball season in 2020 on Thursday. Just a few days later the league's commissioner has backtracked completely and he's "not confident" there will be a season this year.
Manfred discussed the situation with ESPN's Mike Greenberg and said he can no longer guarantee a season will happen because of the acrimonious relationship between the owners and the MLB Players Association. Neither side seems willing to give in negotiations to start the season.
When asked about the optics of the two sides failing to agree to a deal, Manfred said the following, per ESPN:
""It's just a disaster for our game, absolutely no question about it. It shouldn't be happening, and it's important that we find a way to get past it and get the game back on the field for the benefit of our fans.""
The players union broke off talks with the owners after the sides exchanged proposals and were clearly not on the same page. Manfred has the ability to unilaterally order a season played but both sides would still need to agree on health protocols.
Things got even more convoluted on Monday as the owners demanded the players dropped any potential grievance against them before a season could start:
This mess has only unsettled things between the owners and players and could lead to a strike after the current collective bargaining agreement expires in 2021. The fight between the two sides is likely to get very ugly and there are no signs of agreement on the horizon.