While Max Scherzer and Andrew Miller have been at the forefront of the Major League Baseball Players Association's fight for what they deem to be a fairer collective bargaining agreement, Toronto Blue Jays righty Ross Stripling might have delivered the quote of the owner-imposed lockout Tuesday evening.
Stripling -- the player rep for the Blue Jays -- said that as the public was led to believe the MLBPA and MLB were making some progress late Monday evening, the league attempted to slip new provisions into their latest proposals.
“It got to be like 12:30 and the fine print of their CBT proposal was stuff we had never seen before,” the 32-year-old told Shi Davidi and Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet. “They were trying to sneak things through us, it was like they think we’re dumb baseball players and we get sleepy after midnight or something. It’s like that stupid football quote, they are who we thought they were. They did exactly what we thought they would do. They pushed us to a deadline that they imposed, and then they tried to sneak some s*** past us at that deadline and we were ready for it. We’ve been ready for five years. And then they tried to flip it on us today in PR, saying that we’ve changed our tone and tried to make it look like it was our fault. That never happened.”
Audacy Sports MLB Insider Jon Heyman noted Tuesday morning that "restrictions to the shift, a pitch clock and larger bases were all brought up." It stands to reason then that these could be some of the provisions that MLB put back into proposals at the 11th hour, without any discussion with the union on whether they would sign off on an agreement that included those changes. Players may not have been opposed to some or all of those ideas, but if they are priorities of the league, the MLBPA could then ask for another concession or two from owners to sign off on these ideas.
Ultimately, for whatever idea of momentum existed late Monday night and into Tuesday morning, it doesn't appear that the two sides got especially close on a new CBA, with the Players Association "unanimously" voting down the league's proposal Tuesday evening:
After the MLBPA declined this offer, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred announced that the league was cancelling the first two series of the regular season. Seemingly more hangs in the balance if a new deal can't be reached in the coming days.