Major League Baseball is set to return this month, with games reportedly scheduled to begin on July 23.
It's been quite the month-plus for the sport. Major League Baseball and the MLB Players' Association had been in a heated battle over the 2020 season.
The MLB and the MLBPA sent various proposals back and forth - most of them leaking to the media - before ultimately forcing the commissioner, Rob Manfred, to implement a 60-game season.
Former New York Yankees shortstop turned Miami Marlins executive Derek Jeter used one word to describe this animated battle: "Embarrassing."
Jeter, who became a part owner and CEO of the Marlins in 2017, thinks the last month-plus could have a lasting damage on the sport.
“It was pretty sad to see the back and forth being played out publicly in a time like now,” Jeter said on the first episode of “The Line Drive” with Marlins radio broadcaster Glenn Geffner. “You have so many people filing for unemployment throughout the country. Over 30 million people, 40 million people with no jobs. They really don’t want to hear owners and players going back and forth about how much money they deserve and how much money they need.
“I get it. Look, I was a player. I feel as though players should fight for everything that they feel as though they should have. And I’ll always support them in that sense. But, in this particular case, I think some things should have been done behind the scenes. … There is no winner. It seems like sometimes people are trying to win a PR battle and ultimately it’s going to be the sport that’s going to suffer.”
Jeter added that the Marlins were not one of the MLB teams rumored to be interested in cancelling the 2020 season.
“I understand that, look, there are negotiations and people are going to have a difference of opinion, and that’s fine,” he said, per the New York Post. “That happens in every industry. But you just hope that moving forward there is a little trust build and you have some civil negotiations.”
The Marlins are expected to be somewhat improved in 2020, but it'll be surprising if they contend for the NL East - or even a Wild Card berth.
But hey, it's a 60-game season. Almost anything can happen.