Both Japan and the United States are nearing spring, but once again there are signs that the majors are likely to be messy.

Arizona’s Cactus League, where 15 teams have camp facilities, has asked Rob Manfred Commissioner to postpone the spring camp, jointly with the mayors of cities such as Phoenix and Scottsdale. It was revealed through some media that the book was published. In Arizona, where the spread of the new coronavirus continues, not only is the number of newly infected people exceeding 5,000 a day, but also the infection rate is the highest and the risk to residents is high, so the mayors request postponement. Was resolved.

However, the document did not reach the MLB Players Association directly, and there was some speculation that the Organization might have intentionally leaked it, so it seems that the Players Association is hardening its attitude. Has been done. This document is just a request level, but it cannot be decided unilaterally by the Organization. At this point, the schedule for “Camping in mid-February, opening on April 1st” has not changed, as the final agreement between the owner / organization and the players’ association is required.

On the other hand, some of the owners intend to postpone the opening of the official game until mid-May when vaccination progresses, and it is speculated that this “leak” is a stepping stone for that. If the opening is postponed, the player’s annual salary will be reduced according to the number of games, so the players’ association is premised on conducting a total of 162 games. It is undeniable that there is a sense of distrust toward the owners who have accumulated so far behind the fact that the players’ association side receives this request form from the campsite administration as “pressure”.

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When the official game was shortened to 60 games last year, negotiations between the two parties became bogged down due to issues such as annual salary allocation. In this season as well, the bargaining continues between the owners who want to increase the playoff slots to increase their income and the players’ associations who insist on the introduction of DH in both leagues.

I think it is very good to have a thorough discussion between labor and management until they are satisfied.

However, as the anxiety persists due to the corona sickness, I just hope that we will not lose sight of the attitude of giving top priority to the health and safety of athletes, their families, and local residents.[Mamoru Shizuka](Nikkan Sports.com / Baseball column “Major Diary of Mamoru Shizuka”)