Bradford: What is happening in MLB should be obvious


My wife brought it to light the other day that I routinely relied on a certain phrase when dealing with kid-related issues: "It's not complicated ..."

Well, after hearing the latest round of negotiations between the Major League Baseball owners and the MLB Players Association ... you guessed it: It's not complicated.

The owners are running out the clock. How can we view it any other way?

They came back with another proposal, one with enough whispers and screams from the MLBPA led us to believe it was not a step in the right direction. In some cases, it was classified as a step back. And no matter the level of pessimism or even hints of optimism, this wasn't the tonic for making an early July Opening Day a reality.

The numbers were different. The percentages had been tweaked. The perception was the same.

MLB Players Association considers MLB's latest offer that includes 76-game season a 'step backwards'

— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) June 8, 2020

Zero people should be surprised.

The owners' willingness to play the players' full pro-rated salaries is cemented in having a 48-60-game season. Sure, this time they came back with the idea of a 76-game season, but it was with the understanding that the pay scale would land at 75 percent. They knew that wasn't going to fly. And guess what? Nobody should be holding their breath for the owners to give in. They hold almost all of the cards.

Keep offering deals that are going to get the same reaction like this one until, guess what, there is only enough time to play between 48-60 games. That sure seems like the path these owners are more than happy to take.

Think about it: They get to July before momentum is finally realized (which at this rate seems far from crazy). Now you're talking about an August start. That is paving the way for, you guessed it, a 48-60-game season with the players not getting the option of playing beyond Nov. 1. 

That puts the players in the bind of being the ones identified as either the ones giving life to their sport or digging its grave. Fair or not, this is the catbird seat the owners find themselves sitting in.

Perhaps all of this takes an abrupt turn for the better later this week. (It's the kind of optimism that has been uttered virtually every Monday for the last four weeks.) But it seems like an increasingly larger waste of time to rant about the minutiae of each proposal, how one side or the other is to blame and how baseball is doomed.

This all just seems so obvious now. In an exhaustingly complicated world, this really doesn't seem complicated at all.