Pritzker Disappointed In MLB Players' Salary Haggling

"The people deserve to get their pastime back," Gov. J.B. Pritzker says.

670 The Score Staff
May 12, 2020 - 4:13 pm

(670 The Score) As MLB owners and players negotiate the financial terms of a potential labor deal to create a return-to-play framework in 2020 for a league hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday expressed his "disappointment" in the players' union for its pushback ahead of the latest round of talks.

"I must say I’m disappointed that players are holding out for these very, very high salaries and payments during a time when I think everybody is sacrificing," Pritzker said at the end of his daily press conference addressing the COVID-19 outbreak in the state.

MLB officials were scheduled to make a presentation to the union Tuesday in search of an agreement. The owners approved a proposal Monday that calls for a revenue split that would be unprecedented in baseball, and union leadership has already criticized it. Players withstood a 7 1/2-month strike in 1994-'95 to fight off such a plan.

Taking only one baseball-related question on the matter with no followups at the end of a press conference that lasted more than an hour, Pritzker put the onus on the players in a negotiation that many view as a back-and-forth between millionaire players and billionaire owners.

"I realize that the players have the right to haggle over their salaries, but we do live in a moment where the people of Illinois, the people of the United States deserve to get their pastime back to watch 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. We need that back, that normalcy back. I hope they’ll be reasonable as they negotiate."

Last week, Pritzker expressed optimism that Chicago will receive clearance from public health officials to host baseball games -- without fans -- assuming MLB returns.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.