Next Proposal Comes Today, Playoff Structure, Dawson’s Birthday, and More Cub Balls

Last night I took the little ladies to a daddy-daughter ball, and it was a very enjoyable time. It was the first time we could go there in three years, which hit me hard when I was in the room with them: I really miss doing “stuff”. Good to have that back.

• Player and owner representatives are meeting today to review an official written response/proposal from the players today, the first such exchange since Tuesday. I don’t expect this session to be one of breathlessly tweeting about people coming and going in a parking lot, and instead it’s probably going to be the players submitting and explaining the proposal, and then maybe a little discussion, then separate to reflect. Maybe they will meet again tomorrow for an intense back and forth? But, what I mean is, I don’t necessarily expect a major back and forth of negotiations today.

• I hope, however, that we will get the details of the players’ proposal, which could have included a 14-team playoff proposal that goes something like this: The top team in each league gets a bye, and the next three teams can host the bottom three teams for a three-game “Wild Card” series. The caveat is that a division winner would start their streak 1-0. Indeed, then, if they win a game, they move on. The other team must win two games in a row to continue (this is similar to the playoff system used in the KBO). We can discuss what volume of matches (and teams) are appropriate, but *IF* the players were going to agree on 14 teams, then hopefully they’ll stand firm on SOME KIND of a setup like this- this is a STRONG INCENTIVE to win your division. (Don’t use the words “ghost win” because that scares people.) Today is still a very, very big day.

• The owners would not be in this type of setup I guess for legitimate reasons (fewer games for TV purposes) and less legitimate reasons (some might want to be able to enter the playoffs on equal footing with other teams even without spending more). I also wonder if owners would really value 14 (more than 12) enough to raise the luxury tax, which would be the whole point of players offering 14 in the first place. Basically: I doubt this approach will get much traction today or any other day.

• Consider that owners are going to argue that games can’t be rescheduled and players shouldn’t be paid…so how exactly are small market owners losing money?

• It’s a bit like having your cake and eating it too, isn’t it? Either there are “losses” because you don’t play games but keep the same expenses, or you don’t pay your most important expenses and there really aren’t many “losses”. Sounds like an excuse for some teams not to spend. But what else is new?

• Some background at the right time:

• Although Dawson signing the blank contract with the Cubs has become something of a fondness, it happened because of the rampant collusion of owners in the mid-1980s to massively limit player salaries. In a consolidation and resolution of multiple player grievances, the owners agreed to pay the players $280 million (which would be over $700 million in today’s dollars, but that’s only inflation – disregarding changes in the salary structure on various CBAs). Apart from that ugliness, it’s of course great that Dawson finally ended up with the Cubs, of course. We love the Falcon.

• I just like watching this guy:

• (If you missed the earlier discussion of Tennessee reliever Ben Joyce hitting 103.5 mph.)

• As Illinois sports betting returns to full mobile online registration, top Illinois apps will offer $1,000 bonuses with promotions.

• Congratulations to the Bryant family, which is growing two times:

• Now Kris just has to find a job, AMIRITE?