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Fed up players sound off on MLB's 72-game proposal, which includes Sunday deadline

Mark Townsend
Yahoo Sports Contributor
Fed up players sound off on MLB's 72-game proposal, which includes Sunday deadline

It was Major League Baseball’s turn to send a proposal to the players union on Friday.

If you’ve been following this excruciating saga from the beginning, then you already know what happened next.

To the trash that one goes.

That gif from St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty set the tone. What followed was further proof that the players are beyond the point of being annoyed and frustrated. They are fed up.

MLB’s latest proposal not only fell short of the players’ steadfast demands, but put in place a hard deadline. As Yahoo Sports’ sources have confirmed, the players have until Sunday to accept. That’s two full days to mull over a proposal that several players had publicly rejected in less than two hours.

Here’s why their anger is reaching a boiling point.

Proposal details

MLB’s latest proposal calls for a 72-game season.

Of greater interest to the players, they would only be guaranteed 70 percent of their prorated salaries for the regular season. That number would grow to 83 percent if the postseason is completed.

As many players have noted, it's basically the same proposal MLB has been offering for the last month. Only with different words and slightly different math. 

The union has asserted since the beginning that its not willing to back off a March 26 agreement that guaranteed the players full prorated salaries based on the number of games played. The owners argue that additional pay cuts are necessary due to a “lack of revenue” if games are played without fans. 

The players simply aren’t buying that argument. At least not without proof. So far, that proof has not been provided. Until it is, they will not willingly accept anything less than 100 percent. 

To explain all of this in video form, Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Andrew McCutchen put together this creative clip on what the players hear every time a new proposal comes from the league. 

Players are fed up

Flaherty and McCutchen weren’t the only players willing to express themselves. Several others, including the always outspoken Trevor Bauer, quickly weighed in as well.

The message is clear. We’re together. We won’t be fooled. We won’t give in.

What happens next?

In the same March 26 agreement promising players 100 percent of their prorated salaries, commissioner Rob Manfred gained the power to determine the season’s start date and length. Given the Sunday deadline, it appears we are moving closer to a Manfred mandate.

Previous reports indicate that Manfred would implement a 48-game season with full prorated salaries, which basically amounts to the players earning the same money as the current 72-game proposal. The key point for the owners is guaranteeing a full and complete postseason. That would allow them to drive up their own revenue because of the league’s massive postseason broadcast contract.

At this point, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman says several of the fed-up players are just waiting for a mandate to happen. That’s in part due to them wanting to get on the field. And also because it would open the door for a potential grievance.

In a series of tweets, ESPN’s Jeff Passan also indicated that a grievance is likely.

No matter what happens, it’s clear the issues between the owners and players will not be resolved soon. In fact, the disconnect and tension seem destined to get much worse before getting any better.

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