Clearly, all is not harmonious in the world of MLB right now. Commissioner Rob Manfred is frustrated with the comments of players and MLBPA head Tony Clark.
Manfred was recently asked by Jayson Stark of The Athletic what he thought about players (like Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander) complaining about the slow free agency period. Manfred expressed optimism about avoiding MLB’s first work stoppage since the 1994-95 strike.
But the commissioner also made it clear that he didn’t like the comments.
Manfred said he is “going to stay positive” about reaching a deal to avoid a work stoppage. But he said he “would advise Tony (Clark) and the players to save what they have to say for the bargaining table.”
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) February 19, 2019
MLB has a number of issues. But free agency looms as the biggest and toughest to solve.
We can get why the public comments are frustrating to Manfred. That said, veiled threats don’t seem like the best way to promote labor peace, either.
Even worse is that this doesn’t feel like it’s something that will get better any time soon. Eventually, the top remaining free agents will sign. But it seems likely that a lot of bitterness will linger.