While MLB and the MLB Players Association continue to negotiate a potential deal that could see the sport return this summer, Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker said Tuesday that he's "disappointed in many ways that players are holding out for these very, very high salaries and payments" amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Pritzker appeared to take particular note of the MLBPA’s issues with the finances associated with the reported plan approved by owners on Monday. MLBPA Tony Clark recently told The Athletic that they are not in favor of a proposed 50-50 split, leading to possible delays in finalizing an agreement.
"I realize the players have the right to haggle over their salaries, but we do live in a moment where the people of Illinois and the people of the United States deserve to get their past time back, to watch anyway on television," Pritzker said.
"If they're able to come up with safety precautions, as has been suggested by Major League Baseball that works, I hope that the players will understand that the people of our United States need them to recognize that this is an important part of the leisure time that all of us want to have during the summer to watch them play baseball, to root for our favorite teams...I must say I’m disappointed in many ways that players are holding out for these very, very high salaries and payments during a time when I think everybody is sacrificing."
In addition to the proposed 50-50 revenue split between owners and players, the owners' proposal also reportedly includes an expansion of playoff teams from 10 to 14, an 82-game season, the use of home stadiums in areas that have local and state government approval, geographical schedules and an expanded roster.
On March 12, MLB made its first decision to suspend spring training and delay opening day. The league subsequently suspended its operation.