In mid-May, agent Scott Boras said that MLB owners shouldn't "privatize the gains and socialize the losses" as they negotiated with the MLB Players Association for the start of the 2020 regular season amid the coronavirus pandemic.
While speaking with ESPN on Tuesday, Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts hit out at any idea owners are holding onto excessive profits as they try to convince players to accept a revenue-sharing proposal and amend or void a March agreement that included pro-rated salaries for a pandemic-shortened season.
Per Jesse Rogers, Ricketts said:
"The scale of losses across the league is biblical. 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.
"Who would invest at the moment?"
Ricketts also campaigned for understanding from fans:
"Here's something I hope baseball fans understand. Most baseball owners don't take money out of their team. They raise all the revenue they can from tickets and media rights, and they take out their expenses, and they give all the money left to their GM to spend.
"The league itself does not make a lot of cash. I think there is a perception that we hoard cash and we take money out and it's all sitting in a pile we've collected over the years. Well, it isn't. Because no one anticipated a pandemic. No one expects to have to draw down on the reserves from the past. Every team has to figure out a way to plug the hole."
Ricketts added he's confident the two sides will agree to terms for some version of a season.
On Monday, Brendan Kuty of NJ.com reported the owners and players continue to disagree on the length of the season. Owners prefer a campaign as brief as 60 or even 50 games, but the players have asked for a 114-game season.
They could, however, drop that number to around 80 as a compromise.
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