Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

For months, MLB and its players' union have engaged in a frustrating back-and-forth over baseball's return. Negotiations reached a boiling point this week, and now the 2020 season — and perhaps even future seasons — are in serious jeopardy.

Why it matters: The talks between the two sides were never great, but they at least once had a tinge of optimism. Now, a 50-game season — once considered a worst-case scenario — appears to be the only hope for baseball this year.

The latest:

  • June 10: Commissioner Rob Manfred tells ESPN's Karl Ravech that he's "100%" sure there will be a season.
  • June 13: The MLBPA cuts off talks and requests that MLB tell them when and where to show up, citing an agreed upon stipulation that the league would set a schedule (believed to be ~50 games) should the two sides fail to agree on one.
  • June 15 (last night): Manfred reverses course, saying he's no longer confident that there will be a season due to players' decision to end negotiations. The MLBPA responds, saying "players are disgusted" by Manfred's backtracking.

Furthermore, the bad blood formed during this process will have a profound impact on negotiations when the CBA expires after the 2021 season, and could result in even more missed games due to a lockout or player strike.

The backdrop: The crux of this debate centers on the players and owners both refusing to budge, making the last 10 weeks less about negotiations and more about two sides yelling into the void.

  • What the players want: Full pro rata, meaning fully prorated salaries for however many games they play (i.e. $1 million salary would be $500,000 if the season were cut exactly in half).
  • What the owners want: To minimize the collective losses incurred by playing a season without fans, which they can't accomplish if players earn full pro rata. (Owners claim a fanless season could result in $4 billion in losses, but that number is impossible to confirm because they refuse to open their books.)

What we're hearing: The owners want to play roughly 50 games. But if they implemented that now, the MLBPA would file a bad faith grievance against them for not trying to play as many games as possible, since they can still easily fit in 70+ games before the Sept. 27 regular-season end date.

  • So, the owners are stalling. The closer they get to Sept. 27, the fewer games they can play — bringing them closer to their goal of 50 games and eliminating the players' legal case against them.
  • Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer agrees with this theory and called out Manfred directly on Twitter: "No one believes your bluff, bud."

The bottom line: Over the last six months, two MLB teams were punished for cheating, the league came under fire for its plan to decimate the minor leagues, and now, "the entity with the sole power to organize top-tier professional baseball in North America seems to have no particular interest in fulfilling that purpose," writes The Ringer's Michael Baumann.

  • Regardless of what happens next, MLB has angered its players, alienated its existing fans, hurt its chances of attracting new fans and incurred incalculable long-term damage to its already deteriorating image. Good job, guys.
  • Last night, the AP reported that several MLB players and staff have tested positive for COVID-19. You can draw your own conclusions, but the timing would seem to indicate that MLB leaked that information to benefit their own agenda.

Go deeper

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Sep 10, 2020 - Sports

Special report: The NFL is back and weirder than ever

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Chiefs beat the 49ers in Super Bowl LIV on Feb. 2. One day later, the U.S. declared COVID-19 a public health emergency.

The big picture: A lot has happened in the 223 days since then, highlighted by Tom Brady's arrival in Tampa Bay via free agency and Joe Burrow's arrival in Cincinnati via the NFL's first-ever virtual draft. Teams aced the training camp protocols, but without any preseason games, expect to see some rust when they finally take the field for game day.

1 hour ago - Technology

TikTok drives new nostalgia economy

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Older brands, trends and technologies are making a comeback as younger consumers desperately chase slower, less chaotic times.

The big picture: TikTok's algorithm makes it easy for flashback items to resurface and quickly go viral both on its platform and eventually on other social networks.

Updated 5 hours ago - World

Reports: Up to 17 U.S. missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince earlier this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children were among up to 17 American Christian missionaries and their relatives kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, the New York Times first reported.

Details: The missionaries had just left an orphanage and were traveling by bus to the airport to "drop off some members" and were due to travel to another destination when the gang struck in Port-au-Prince, Haitian security officials said, per the NYT.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!