MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 20: Chief Executive Officer Derek Jeter of the Miami Marlins meets with members of the media prior to the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Marlins Park on September 20, 2018 in Miami, Florida.
(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

Derek Jeter says all trust has been lost between MLB’s owners and players. As someone who has been on both sides, he would know.

Aside from postponing the start of the season, COVID-19 put a horrific wedge between Major League Baseball’s owners and players. According to Miami Marlins co-owner and New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter, “no trust” exists between both sides.

Speaking on the Marlins’ program Line Drive, Jeter further elaborated:

MLB officially began its second round of spring training today. Players are arriving at home stadiums or team facilities, all despite cases increasing across the nation. This is after prolonged negotiations between owners and players turned toxic over money, and commissioner Rob Manfred eventually implemented a 60-game season at full prorated salaries.

JB’s Take

Derek Jeter is absolutely right. Remember, back on March 26, both MLB and the players’ union agreed to full prorated salaries regardless of a restarted season’s length. Then, once it became clear fans wouldn’t be allowed to attend games, owners took advantage of wonky language in the initial deal to renegotiate.

Think about that for a second. During a global pandemic, when all sides were already going to be losing money, owners basically negotiated in bad faith. They claimed it was over concerns of a second wave, not to mention also decreased revenues from lack of fans. Yet, despite the union’s willingness to play far more than 60 games, they insisted on a shorter season.

And Jeter has been on both sides of this argument. He played for nearly 20 years, debuting less than a year after the 1994 strike effectively canceled the World Series. How quickly we forget there was also almost a strike in 2002. Moreover, think of how publicly upset he was after the 2010 season, when word got out of his free agency negotiations with the Yankees were turning sour.

But let’s circle back and revisit Jeter’s words in the clip above. Note he says some of the work “should have been done behind the scenes.”

Now, think of all of the various leaks and proposals that occurred during negotiations. All signs seem to point to the owners being responsible. No matter how you spin it, they went back on an agreement and cried poverty during a national crisis. And the PR battle was fought in the press.

From this writer’s perspective, Derek Jeter just called out his fellow owners to be better. All trust is lost, and hopefully new CBA negotiations take that first step of mending the fence.

Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.