May 15, 2020 11:01 AM

AP source: Players ask MLB for slew of financial documents

Posted May 15, 2020 11:01 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — Lawyers for the baseball players’ union asked Major League Baseball to submit a slew of financial documents that detail the industry’s finances, a person familiar with the request told The Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity Thursday because neither side announced the step.

Baseball owners on Monday approved a proposal that could lead to the coronavirus-delayed season starting around the Fourth of July with a regular-season schedule of 82 games per team, including 13 against each division rival. Owners also gave the go-ahead to propose basing players’ salaries on a 50-50 revenue split, which the union says is a salary cap and a framework players will never agree to.

“It’s hopeful that we will have some Major League Baseball this summer. We are making plans about playing in empty stadiums,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday on CNN, adding he is confident of reaching a deal with players.

The type of financial disclosure the union asked for is more common during overall collective bargaining talks, which play out for many months or years, rather than the limited negotiation time available now.

“There’s so many ways to hide the money,” Cincinnati pitcher Trevor Bauer said in a video he posted Wednesday on Twitter.

Bauer said owners could reduce ticket prices and at the same time charge more for parking garages they control through different entities that do not benefit the club.

Describing himself as being only slightly lighthearted, the outspoken 29-year-old took a shot at the commissioner.

“If I’m going to have to trust my salary to Rob Manfred marketing the game to make more money for the game, I am out on that,” Bauer said. “Let me market the game and we’ll all make more money.”

Teams made a presentation to the union Tuesday that included a dire financial forecast but no formal proposal.

Management fears even more financial difficulty if regular-season games are played, causing players to be paid their salaries, and the postseason is canceled because of a second wave of the new coronavirus. Players do not draw salaries during the postseason, when MLB receives the largest portion of its national broadcasting revenue.

Players are waiting to receive detailed medical and testing protocols from MLB. Not willing to risk becoming ill, Tampa Bay Rays All-Star pitcher Blake Snell said he would not take the mound this year if his pay is cut further.

“I’m not splitting no revenue. I want all mine,” the 2018 AL Cy Young Award winner said on a Twitch stream Wednesday. “Bro, y’all got to understand, too, because y’all going to be like: ‘Bro, play for the love of the game. Man, what’s wrong with you, bro? Money should not be a thing.’ Bro, I’m risking my life. What do you mean, ‘It should not be a thing?’ It 100% should be a thing.”

The Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory in Salt Lake City, which conducts testing for players with minor league contracts and participated in the recent coronavirus antibody study, would handle MLB’s testing for the virus and promised a 24-hour turnaround.

“All of our players would be tested multiple times a week, PCR testing to determine whether or not they had the virus,” Manfred told CNN. “That testing would be supplemented less frequently by antibody testing.”

A 27-year-old left-hander, Snell agreed in March 2019 to a $50 million, five-year contract that included a $3 million signing bonus, a $1 million salary last year and a $7 million salary this season.

As part of the March 26 agreement between Major League Baseball and the players’ association, Snell is being advanced $286,500 for the first 60 days of the season through May 24 but would not get any more in 2020 if no games are played. The deal calls for players to receive prorated shares of salary if the season does start; Snell would get $43,210 for each day of the schedule.

Teams say they would lose money if games are played in empty ballparks. Manfred says 40% of revenue is gate and related to gate and told CNN if there is no season losses would approach $4 billion.

“If I’m going to play, I should be at the money I signed to be getting paid,” Snell said. “I should not be getting half of what I’m getting paid because the season’s cut in half, all on top of a 33% cut of the half that’s already there, so I’m really getting like 25%. On top of that, it’s getting taxed. ... If I get the ’rona, guess what happens with that? Oh, yeah, that stays — that’s in my body forever.”

MLB’s staff has spent two months working on the testing plan. Manfred said there would be daily temperature checks and symptom analysis. If someone tests positive, they would be quarantined until they have two negative tests over 24 hours.

“We hope that we will be able to convince the vast, vast majority of our players that it’s safe to return to work,” Manfred told CNN. “The protocols for returning to play, the health-related protocols are about 80 pages in length. They’re extraordinarily detailed. They cover everything from how the players will travel, private charters, how those charters have to be cleaned, who has access to the ballpark, strict limits on number of people, tiering of employees, so even those people who are in the ballpark will be isolated in general from the players.

“So we’ll hope that we’ll be able to convince them that it’s safe,” he added. “At the end of the day, however, if there’s players with either health conditions or just their own personal doubts, we would never force them or try to force them to come back to work. They can wait until they feel they’re ready to come.”

Teams would play six games against each rival in the same region’s division in the other league, creating six games each between rivals such as the Yankees and Mets, Cubs and White Sox, Dodgers and Angels, and Giants and Athletics.

MLB’s preference is for teams to use their regular-season ballparks. Manfred said he has spoken with the 18 governors whose states host MLB teams.

“Assuming that we try to play some games starting in the first half of July, most governors expressed hope that we would be able to use facilities, of course, initially without fans,” he told CNN. “But we do have contingency plans if, in fact, there was a problem in a particular market, we have contingency plans where that team could play somewhere else, at least temporarily.”

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May 15, 2020 11:01 AM
Sunflower Chapter of National Football Foundation Renamed in honor of former Kansas State Head Coach Bill Snyder

The impact Bill Snyder has had on the game of football and the student-athletes who participate in it has been considerable and commendable. And, in recognition of those contributions, the Kansas state chapter of the National Football Foundation (NFF) has been renamed the Coach Bill Snyder Family/ Sunflower Chapter.

“Throughout his life, Coach Snyder has developed winners on and off the field,” long-time Chapter President Gerry McGuire said. “The chapter board of directors strongly believes naming the chapter in his honor is a collective ‘thank you’ on behalf of all those associated with the game; and it provides a platform to communicate his important message to our youth.”

Snyder has been integrally involved in chapter activities from its inception, McGuire said. That includes serving as a banquet speaker, providing guidance to the chapter, and helping to garner resources to support chapter activities.

“It is truly a fitting tribute to Bill Snyder’s Hall of Fame legacy to have his name on the NFF Chapter in Kansas,” said NFF President and CEO Steve Hatchell. “A dedicated and tireless worker, Coach Snyder made a huge impact at all levels of the game, and he cared and built one of the college football’s premier programs from scratch and the bottom up. It’s great that his name and accomplishments are now forever connected to the chapter, which will inspire future coaches and players to follow in his footsteps of excellence for years to come.”

Snyder, who spent a portion of his childhood in Salina, turned around a struggling Kansas State football program, leading it to 19 bowl games during his tenure from 1989-2005; 2009-18. He had a 215-117-1 career record with conference titles in 2003 and 2012. The football stadium at Kansas State is named in his honor (Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium) and he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2015.

“I am honored to have my family’s name associated with the Kansas chapter of the National Football Foundation,” Snyder said. “The game of football provides a wonderful vehicle to develop life skills for our youth. I look forward to helping to serve the NFF’s mission to the benefit of others. The state of Kansas and its people have a special place in my heart.”

Each year, a limited number of Kansas high school seniors are selected as NFF Scholars and recognized at a banquet. One of the recipients is honored with a scholarship, while additional awards are presented to high school coaches, officials and special contributors.  

More than 300 high school football players from the state of Kansas have been honored by the chapter since its inception in 1991.  The Chapter Board of Directors decided that this year’s banquet, which was to be the 27th since the chapter was formed, will not be conducted due to social distancing guidelines presented by the State of Kansas. McGuire said the honorees would be announced in the upcoming weeks.

About the National Football Foundation

Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl "Red" Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, the National Football Foundation (NFF) is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. 

About the NFF Chapter Network

The NFF Chapter Network, spread across 120 outposts in 47 states, serves as the pulse of a nationwide effort to encourage leadership, sportsmanship and academic excellence among America’s young football players. The first meeting to discuss the formation of chapters was held by the Cincinnati Club in 1954, and today more than 12,000 passionate members carry on the legacy of the early pioneers, which is simply to Build Leaders Through Football. Collectively, they host more than 300 events each year, reaching more than 500,000 football players at 5,000 high schools.

About the NFF Chapter Network

The state of Kansas signed its NFF chapter charter in 1991 as the Jayhawk Chapter. It later transitioned to the Sunflower Chapter. It’s mission is to recognize outstanding high school seniors who excel on the gridiron, in the classroom and as leaders in their schools and communities.  Dillon’s Food Stores, which maintains a large presence in the state of Kansas, sponsors the chapter awards program and banquet.