MILWAUKEE (SPECTRUM NEWS) -- This is considered an important week to see if MLB owners and players can reach an agreement to play an abbreviated season in 2020. Think 81 games starting in early July.
The talks reportedly hit some choppy waters Tuesday because of some proposed player salary cuts. This will be messy but surely both sides realize how bad it would look when much of the nation is suffering much more. On Tuesday, some of the Brewers' top decision makers took part in a Greater Milwaukee Committee webinar. Brewers Owner Mark Attanasio serves on a powerful owners' committee right in the middle of the negotiations. He spoke before Tuesday's latest bargaining talks.
“We’re on the precipice of what we need to do to play baseball in the summer of 2020 and I think we’re going to. We’ve been working on it for months. The short answer is that it’s got to come together very quickly or we will just run out of time,” says Attanasio.
Brewers President of Baseball Operations David Stearns offered his opinion.
"If we are going to get players back on the field, if we are going to restart a season, and I’m very optimistic that we can, we have to insure that we can keep everyone safe and that we can provide the appropriate protocols to do so," Sterns says.
If there is a season, there won't be fans in the stands--at least at first. Brewers manager Craig Counsell says that will be an adjustment.
“The players will miss fans in the stands, they will dearly miss them. It’s going to be impactful on how our season operates. It’s probably the question I’ve been considering the most. More than the rule changes, just the environment that we’re going to play in is one that’s very unique,” Counsell says.
Things would look different, including social distancing and assigned seating in the dugout. Teams with healthy rosters will benefit. It all comes back to being safe. And financially workable for all sides. Attanasio talked about the stakes.
“League wide 40% of the revenues are gate related, tickets, concessions, parking. If we play without fans, that 40% is off the table. The challenge of staging these games from an economic standpoint is acute and real," adds Attanasio.
Attanasio says, if there's a settlement, it's his preference to have a second spring training for the Brewers at Miller Park.