Toronto Blue Jays legend and Hall of Fame infielder Roberto Alomar is calling on Major League Baseball and the players’ union to reach a deal to salvage the 2020 season.
“As a fan, my hope is that the two sides can come together, find common ground so we can play a baseball season,” Alomar said in a statement. “The outcome of the current situation is so important to all of us, but it’s even more important to the next generation of players and fans who are watching us closely to see how we respond during these challenging times.”
MLB and the MLBPA struck a deal in late March outlining how things would play out if baseball could return with fans in the stands. Now that playing in empty stadiums is the only option, the fate of the 2020 MLB season has been hanging in the balance as the league and union traded possible schedules and payment plans over the last few weeks.
The players have argued that they should be paid their full prorated salary for any games played. The league says that that’s impossible without fans in the stands and is asking players to cut a percentage of their salaries to reduce the losses clubs incur.
On Saturday, the MLBPA put out a statement saying “It’s time to get back to work. Tell us when and where.” On Monday, in an interview with ESPN, commissioner Rob Manfred said he couldn’t say for sure that baseball would return this year.
In his statement, Alomar acknowledged the concerns both sides have, but said: “with all the difficulties happening in the world, we need baseball and sports more than ever.”
“I personally want to encourage both sides to work together, be open-minded, and let’s get baseball back,” he added.