MLB’s absurd portrayal of Max Scherzer defines his incompetent negotiating tactics

MLB and MLBPA failed to agree on a new collective bargaining agreement on Tuesday, continuing an ongoing lockout in a crushing failure of incomprehensible magnitude. Vitriolic rhetoric has defined the lockdown for months, and players have torn MLB apart for being dishonest about the feasibility of a deal in the wee hours of Tuesday morning.

But one of the strangest developments involved MLB’s portrayal of New York Mets signee and MLBPA frontman Max Scherzer.

A three-time Cy Young and eight-time All-Star, Scherzer has always been a ferociously intense competitor on the mound. Naturally, the 37-year-old brought the same energy to the negotiating table as he pushed for the next generation of players.

Somehow, Scherzer’s dedication to the players and his intellect seemed to surprise MLB management, further contributing to the league’s utter incompetence throughout this process.

Max Scherzer reportedly ‘shakes’ some on the MLB side

Scherzer wears his heart on his sleeve. He watches the holes through the batters with a steely gaze crawling on the strap of his glove and barks at his own managers when he feels he’s being fired too soon.

Apparently, the St. Louis native brought the same vigor to the ABC talks.

Andy Martino from SNY.tv reported that Scherzer “rocked” some in the MLB camp with a “tough negotiating style”. The best part about it is that it gave way to a Scott Boras-ism, of sorts.

Boras, Scherzer’s agent, had a deadpan way of saying that MLB executives were clueless if they thought the league could just walk on someone like Scherzer.

“An experienced and substantially prepared active Hall of Famer is a very knowledgeable and very effective defender.”

–Scott Boras on Max Scherzer, via SNY.tv

Indeed, it looks like an MLB you-know-what pot.

What did MLB expect?

Max Scherzer (L) and Rob Manfred (R) | From left to right: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images and Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

While it’s not impossible to see how Max Scherzer’s vehemence might turn some people off, it’s also utterly foolish for the league to assume that Scherzer would rest on his laurels in the negotiations.

As leader of the union, Scherzer had a responsibility to defend all current minor leaguers and future generations, as well as his colleagues at the major league level. Of course, he will adopt an intransigent attitude in the negotiations.

The MLBPA remains frustrated and bracing for MLB to orchestrate a lockout because players feel they got the end of the stick in the last CBA. This element goes a long way to explaining why the league and players have been unable to come close to common ground on Competitive Balance Tax (CBT) thresholds and bonus pool money for players. pre-arbitration players.

For those who say, “Well, Scherzer is part of the problem because he’s going to make over $43 million this season”…give me a break.

If Scherzer hadn’t had a concerted interest in developing the game and watching over his peers, then he wouldn’t have been at the table at all. He might as well have spent that time with his wife, Erica, and their three children. It probably would have been a lot nicer than bickering in a room with people who didn’t care to negotiate in good faith.

The problem comes from MLB. The league decided to lock players out, and the league made its bed with a cocky, haughty, and downright inept approach to the CBA talks.

Everything was a spin zone

Max Scherzer’s strange portrayal is only part of MLB’s utter lack of preparedness and, frankly, lack of urgency to strike a deal to end the lockdown.

At a Tuesday night press conference, commissioner Rob Manfred tried to escalate things for the fans. His answers were littered with falsehoods and non-answers. He dodged a question about not kicking off CBA talks with the MLBPA until the final week of a self-imposed deadline. Manfred also spoke about financial struggles, even though MLB revenue jumped to $10.7 billion before the pandemic, according to the Boston Herald.

Perhaps the most significant revelations came from Ross Stripling, MLBPA player representative for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Stripling said (h/t Sportsnet) that MLB tried to “sneak” into the fine print of the CBT proposal at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday morning, details players hadn’t even seen until then. The quote indicates that a deal has never been closer than MLB sources have suggested. As Stripling noted, the league thought the MLBPA would bow to the possibility of losing the game checks.

However, the players have always presented a united front. What’s more, they’ve been much more rational in their arguments, pointing to declining average and median player salaries as well as the erosion of common ground in free agency over the past few years, even if owners cash in or mitigate potential losses by significantly reducing expenses. .

Baseball fans have already lost the first two series of the 2022 campaign. But, given MLB’s inept approach to CBA talks this week, it’s fair to wonder if there will even be a season. at all.

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