Brewers GM ‘firmly’ believes there will be season

Field Level Media

June 04, 2020 at 12:30 am.

Milwaukee Brewers general manager David Stearns remains bullish on the baseball season occurring, even as team owners and players continue to squabble over the finances and the format.

“From my perspective, despite the Twitter bickering back and forth, and the posturing back and forth, I am optimistic that we are going to play baseball this year,” Stearns said Wednesday in a video call with media members.

“I am optimistic that both sides genuinely want to play baseball this year, that there is a path to doing so, even if it’s a shorter season. Even if it’s 50 games. I think that is doable, and I think it is needed. I do think both sides recognize how important it is.”

Stearns added, “A lot of times in negotiations there is rhetoric, there is back and forth, but at the end of the day, I firmly believe we’re going to have baseball this year. I believe we’re going to have a representative regular season; I believe we’re going to have a postseason.”

Major League Baseball shut down spring training in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the potential timeframe for Opening Day and season’s length remain a contentious debate.

Team owners last week proposed an 82-game regular season, accompanied by a severe pay cut for players. It is expected fans won’t be allowed in the stands when action resumes, badly damaging the sport’s economic model.

The players union replied Sunday with a 114-game proposal that would see the players receive their standard salaries on a prorated basis.

MLB rejected the union’s plan on Wednesday without responding with a counteroffer, according to multiple media reports.

Stearns said regarding the timetable for starting play, “From what I understand, the farther you go into June, the shorter the season becomes. So, at some point, you run out of time. I’ve got no indication we are there yet. That’s one of the reasons for my optimism.”

He added regarding another key issue that must be resolved by the parties, “The health protocols involve a variety of different ‘players.’ You’ve got state and local officials. You’ve got public health experts. Then, you’ve got Major League Baseball and the players association.

“The good news is I think all sides want to follow the advice of health officials, and the state and local officials. So, we have guidance there and I think we can work through it. On the economic issues, there are different perspectives, and that’s natural. The unifying force here is that everyone wants to play.”