Former New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira has come out in support of MLB owners’ proposal to resume the season in July.
Former New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira is pushing for the MLB owners’ recent proposal for a new season. Under the terms of the deal, per ESPN, players and owners would just split revenues from the season 50-50. The MLBPA has already called such an arrangement a non-starter, according to The Athletic.
But appearing on ESPN, where he’s an on-air analyst, Teixeira called the plan “not that crazy,” according to Brendan Kuty of NJ.com.
“Players need to understand that if they turn this deal down and shut the sport down, they’re not making a cent,” Teixeira said. “I would rather make pennies on the dollar and give hope to people and play baseball than not make anything and lose an entire year off their career.”
Teixeira then mentioned the idea of playing baseball in “unprecedented times,” and also mentioned he only endorsed this plan on a one-off basis.
Well, there’s certainly a lot to unpack here. Most of the country is entering its ninth week of quarantine due to the coronavirus pandemic. Save for last month’s NFL Draft, the masses are absolutely starving for live sports coverage. If players accept the owners’ proposal, which MLB has already approved, the prospect of baseball coming back in 2020 grows stronger.
Except, Mark Teixeira is kind of missing the point. According to Spotrac, he earned $207.9 million in his career. He now has a cushy TV gig with a major sports network and probably has more than a few lucrative investments outside of baseball. Point being, it’s easy for Mark Teixeira to say he’d rather play for peanuts than risk there being no season.
And even still, that’s only just the tip of the iceberg. A 50-50 split in revenues sounds nice, sure, but now consider teams won’t be making money from ticket sales this year. Suddenly, the revenues earned are a lot smaller.
But that’s not even the main sticking point for players, who view the current proposal as owners’ latest attempt at instituting a salary cap. Remember, not long after spring training came to a standstill in March, players agreed to prorated salaries for the season. This means under the owners’ current 82-game proposal, players would already be losing over 50% of salary in 2020.
Now, with the possibility of playing in empty stadiums becoming more of a reality, owners are panicking and trying to renegotiate in bad faith. If this is the reason there is no baseball in 2020 as opposed to COVID-19, it would do unspeakable damage to MLB as a whole.
With all that said, even if there are players who agree with Mark Teixeira and agree with his, “I don’t care about money, I care about playing” philosophy, it comes off as tone-deaf. Revenue sharing in lieu of salaries will only further widen the divide between players and owners. Given how the current CBA expires in December of next year, neither side can afford the negative PR. Especially during a pandemic.
Hopefully, Teixeira soon sees the forest through the trees. He benefitted from the MLBPA for over a decade, and one would think he better understands the players’ plight right now.