Tom Glavine: If There’s No Baseball, Players Will Take the Blame

Tom Glavine
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Former Atlanta Braves star Tom Glavine is warning pro baseball players that they could take the blame if there’s no baseball in 2020.

Glavine is also speaking from experience because he was a players’ union representative during the baseball strike of 1994-95, so he has some familiarity on the topic, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“If it were to come down to an economic issue and that’s the reason baseball didn’t come back, you’re looking at a situation similar to the strike of ’94 and ’95 as far as fans are concerned,” Glavine told the paper. “Even if players were 100% justified in what they were complaining about, they’re still going to look bad.”

Negotiations on plans for a shorted 2020 baseball season are ongoing between the players and the league. But players are already looking askance at the pay cut suggestions.

The league has proposed a plan whereby players receive a 50-50 split of the revenues that the league gets during the regular-season and postseason.

But some players immediately balked at the proposal. Tampa Bay Rays star pitcher Blake Snell, for instance, said that he was not interested in putting his health at risk to play baseball during the coronavirus era, and take a pay cut to do it.

Glavine did note that, like Snell, he understands that players are worried about their health in this coronavirus era.

“I understand that a big part for all of us in getting back to our normal is to have sports back,” he exclaimed. “But you can’t dismiss a player’s concern for his health or his family’s health any more than you would dismiss your own concerns.”

“If I was playing today, I wouldn’t say, ‘Hell no, I’m not playing.’ But, of course, I’d have a concern that once you step out that door and you go back into that world, there’s a chance you’re bringing something home to your family. It’s 100% fair for players, coaches, everybody to be concerned about that,” Glavine added.

For his part, Glavine said he realized that the revenue split was a “scary proposition” to the players union, but these are unusual times. He also felt that players should avoid talking about their pay in the media.

“The accessibility thing was a miscalculation on my part,” Glavine told the Journal. “I just felt like if I did an interview on the radio or TV, if I had five or 10 minutes, I could make somebody understand what was going on and come to our side. That just wasn’t going to happen.”

Glavine noted that he’s glad he is retired and does not have to go make these decisions. Though, he also said he misses sports.

“It’s nice to do what you do all day, eat dinner and then sit down and watch some kind of game. Not having games to watch has been hard. But you know, we’ll get through it,” he lamented.

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