Snell Has Some Thoughts On The Latest Owner's Proposal

He does not care about the backlash. He cares about his health.

Jim Rome
May 14, 2020 - 12:06 pm
Blake Snell

USA Today

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To the question of how the MLB players would respond to the owners’ proposed 50-50 revenue split, we’re starting to get some answers.

Adam Jones, who played 14-years in the majors, tweeted yesterday morning: It’s time for the BIG GUYS in MLB to speak up. This is your time to speak. Stop holding your tongue. Ppl follow and listen to you. Not gonna name names cause there’s a lot of ppl. Who cares what you make. You earned it. Who cares about backlash!! TIME TO SPEAK THE F UP!

That is a really strong take. You do not usually see guys, even former players, calling out other players like that.

And some time after that, Cincinnati’s Trevor Bauer and Tampa Bay’s Blake Snell both spoke the f up. And their answers were: hell no.

In other words, as expected, that proposal went over the way pretty much everyone expected: terribly.

In a tweet, Bauer called the proposal “laughable” and then laid out why in a youtube video: “The ask is basically: 'Take more risk by getting back sooner and take less pay than we've already agreed.' We've already agreed to take ... 50 percent pay cut and now they're asking us to take another pay cut.”

Bauer’s referring to the agreement in March that the players would pro-rate their salaries for the number of games played. And now the owners want to change that to a 50-50 revenue split for the rest of the season, which would most likely mean another reduction in salary for the players, particularly Bauer.

“Slightly lighthearted, but if I'm gonna have to trust my salary to Rob Manfred marketing the game to make more money for the game, I am out on that.”

Nice jab at the commissioner, but Bauer has a point. And Snell went even further.

He was on Twitch yesterday and he let it rip: "y'all gotta understand, man, for me to go -- for me to take a pay cut is not happening, because the risk is through the roof. It's a shorter season, less pay. No, I gotta get my money. I'm not playing unless I get mine, OK? And that's just the way it is for me. Like, I'm sorry you guys think differently, but the risk is way the hell higher and the amount of money I'm making is way lower. Why would I think about doing that?"

That is the kind of fire Jones was calling for. Because Snell wasn’t holding his tongue at all. “I gotta get my money. I’m not playing unless I get mine” is the definition of fire.

I’m not exactly sure the players association would word it that way, because the owners will happily spin that as a greedy, selfish player, only thinking of himself during a pandemic.

But Snell makes a very good point – the season wasn’t shortened for some random reason. A labor related work stoppage. It’s been shortened because of a global health crisis. Coming back to play IS a risk. And it’s a risk the players are taking, not the owners.

"Bro, I'm risking my life. What do you mean it should not be a thing? It should 100% be a thing. If I'm gonna play, I should be getting the money I signed to be getting paid. I should not be getting half of what I'm getting paid because the season's cut in half, on top of a 33% cut of the half that's already there -- so I'm really getting, like, 25%. On top of of that, it's getting taxed. So, imagine how much I'm actually making to play, you know what I'm saying?"

Again, I’m not sure the players association would love that last part, where he’s bringing up taxes, because that’s always a turn-off for fans, but Snell is not having that 50-50 revenue split. Hell, from the sounds of it, he’s not even happy about the fact that the players agreed to prorate their salaries for this year.

The players already agreed to pro-rating their salaries in March. From the sounds of it, Snell didn’t like that, but you’ve got to roll with that now. What you don’t have to roll with is the owners trying to take another chunk in May.

Look, let’s be real, Snell being real like that could very well cost him. Baseball players complaining about the amount of money they make is never going to GO OVER WELL WITH THE FANS, because most fans would play for free. They’d play for the love of the game. 

Snell wants everyone to know he loves the game, too. But he also loves his family. AND THEIR HEALTH. AND HIS HEALTH. AND RETURNING IS RISKING HIS HEALTH: And he’ll seriously consider sitting out the 2020 season under the current proposal. 

“It doesn’t make sense for me to lose all of that money and then go play, and then be on lockdown, not around my family, not around the people I love, and getting paid way the hell less. It’s not worth it. It’s not. I love baseball to death, but it’s just not worth it.”

If he’s serious about sitting out the year, that is serious. Because if one guy does it, do other guys follow suit? And this isn’t just some random back of the rotation guy. Blake Snell is an All-Star and a Cy Young winner. And he’s talking about sitting out if the owners want to go ahead with this proposal And he makes a good point.

“And if I get the ‘rona — on top of that, if I get the ‘rona — guess what happens with that? Oh yeah, that stays, that’s in my body forever. That damage is not gonna be like — the damage that was done to my body? That’s gonna be there forever.”

When he lays it out like that, it makes a lot of sense. Skip the taxes part, just go straight to the part where the players have already agreed to one reduction, now they’d be coming back, facing the risk of getting the ‘rona, and everything that comes with that, and they’d be doing it for a second reduction. For what? Snell is out on that.

Snell later texted the Tampa Bay Times, acknowledging that he realizes his comments on the video could be perceived as greedy, but “that’s not the case at all,” because he’s worried about health and safety.

“I mean, honestly, it’s just scary to risk my life to get COVID-19 as well as not knowing and spreading it to others. I just want everyone to be healthy and get back to our normal lives ’cause I know I miss mine!”

The owners made their proposal. Adam Jones wanted a response from the players. And Blake Snell gave him and everyone else one. A strong one. He does not care about the backlash. He cares about his health. And what he perceives as right. And I see the man working. And clearly to Snell, the quote rona isn’t just the flu.