Both the owners and the players want a new collective bargaining agreement in place before the end of the World Series. As Ken Rosenthal explains: Announcing a new deal during the Series is a public relations jackpot, and players want the new rules in place before the start of free agency.
The two sides remain far part on the owners’ desire to institute “hard slotting” — predetermined signing bonuses — for the amateur draft, major league sources say.
However, the same sources suggest that the gulf between the sides on that issue could narrow quickly, and enough progress has occurred in other areas for an agreement during the Series to remain within reach.
The new agreement is likely to include very noticeable changes, particularly if it includes — as expected — a realignment to two 15-team leagues and a new 10-team playoff format that includes two wild cards from each league.
Check out Rosenthal’s story for a quick, easy-to-understand breakdown of what’s happening and what it might mean.
A. The Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves in the final regular-season series to knock them out of the playoffs, creating a window for the Cardinals to get into the postseason.
B. The Cardinals then beat the Phillies.
C. The Cardinals now have home-field advantage against the Rangers in the World Series because Prince Fielder hit a monster home run off Wilson in the All-Star Game.
• From an MLB press release: “First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden will attend Game One of the 2011 World Series as part of Major League Baseball’s Welcome Back Veterans program and the First Lady’s Joining Forces initiative. MLB has dedicated Game One of the World Series to veterans and their families.”
• The Red Sox and Cubs are still trying to sort out compensation for Theo Epstein. Apparently the Red Sox at one point asked for Matt Garza as compensation. That’s aiming high.
• Does this have any impact on the offseason free agent market? The McCourts have reached a divorce settlement, which might let Frank take back full control of the Dodgers.
• Making Music magazine has a feature on Bernie Williams. “Playing music is great and fun, as long as you’re not playing in front of 500 people,” Williams said. “There’s a completely different aspect to music that has less to do with music and more with performing under pressure, and that was one thing I was able to draw from baseball… It never disappears, but you find the tools to handle it. My work was basically dealing with that on a daily basis for 16 years.”
Associated Press photo