PHOENIX, Feb. 18 -- Major League Baseball Players Association Executive Director Tony Clark today issued the following statement:
“Commissioner Manfred’s latest comments and his attempts to shift blame and distract from the main issues are unconstructive and misleading at best.
Players’ eyes don’t deceive them, and nor do fans’. As Players report to spring training and see respected veterans and valued teammates on the sidelines, they are rightfully frustrated by a two-year attack on free agency. Players commit to compete every pitch of every at-bat, and every inning of every game. Yet we’re operating in an environment in which an increasing number of clubs appear to be making little effort to improve their rosters, compete for a championship or justify the price of a ticket.
“Players have made a sincere attempt to engage with clubs on their proposals to improve pace of play and enhance the game’s appeal to fans. At the same time, we have presented wide-ranging ideas that value substance over seconds and ensure the best Players are on the field every day. We believe these more substantive changes are imperative now -- not in 2022 or 2025, but in 2019.
We look forward to continuing to engage with MLB on changes that address substantive issues -- to the benefit of fans, Players, the 30 clubs and the game of baseball as a whole.”