STL sports chat with Jeff Gordon

STL sports chat with Jeff Gordon

Bring your Blues, Cardinals and STL sports questions, and talk to columnist Jeff Gordon in a live chat beginning at 1 p.m. Friday.

    Bobo's here, where's all the ballplayers?
    Any hope at all for major-league baseball in 2020? Doesn't look/sound promising.
    I believe both sides have acknowledged the other's position and both have taken a small step to address it. But big steps are needed. To me, there has to be a middle ground there to be reached -- especially if the owners will let players opt out with pay (for medical reasons) and or without pay (not worth the risk). The latter opt outs would allow the owners to run a cheaper payroll, which would cut their losses some. It would creae a weird season, but the season was already going to be weird. There is a deal to be made there. What's distressing is they are still disagreeing on what they supposedly agreed upon earlier. That is never a good sign in collecive bargaining.
    Am I missing something? All that time off for the hockey players, then the NHL allows workouts starting Monday, and the Blues say, "We'll just wait."?
    Training camp will start July 10th at the earliest and it will likely be later. This is a voluntary workout stage and right now the players aren't ready to head to the rink. They'll need a few weeks of skating ahead of camp, so they will want to get into the practice facility sooner or later.
    Drew Brees called. He said to tell you he's sorry for giving an honest answer to a question he was asked. He mistakenly thought that free speech was his right.
    He certainly can say whatever he wants, as Jake Fromm did. And people, including teammates, are free to react as they choose. But Colin Kaepernick's free speech to take a position got him banned from the sport. Brees parrotted the NFL's company-line misrepresentation of the take-a-knee protest. And that did not go over well with many.
    Gordo, wouldnt it make sense to go ahead and get the collective bargaining agreement done now as opposed to waiting ? If there is going to be a work stoppage, it makes sense to me to tack it on to this break, as opposed to risking another one next year. Seems like the same issues to negotiate. Agreeing to accelerate to this year will be better for all. Your thoughts please....
    Sure, it would be great if baseball could resolve all greivances and iron out a new CBA that ensures labor peace. But right now there doesn't seem to be much trust at the table. There are hard-liners on both sides. If the owners and players can't figure out how to compromise during an emergency, that's an ominous sign about the more normal bargaining to come.
    So a 48 Game baseball season is the latest I'm hearing. If that is the best they can do, don't waste my time and just come back in 2021
    That's how the players feel! The owners have the right to impose a short season and the players could decide not to show. A lot of players don't want to risk injury for a tiny fraction of their pay -- especially if they are in line for big new contracts.
  • Mizzou basketball not tredning well as it is, and now Cuonzo's going to focus more on human injustice issues? Who is the Tigers' next coach?
    by Ghost of Sparky Stalcup edited by Mike Smith 6/5/2020 5:47:17 PM
  • Martin will be there for a while. His contract guarantees it. He has all 13 scholarship filled for next season and he has extended 2021-22 offers to a high number of prospects. He has been recruiting about as hard as a coach can during a pandemic. As for his social activism, it is doing a lot of good for a school still healing from the 2015 racial tension.
  • If you're a rising star like Jack Flaherty or Walker Buehler, why would you risk your health and a potential injury to pitch 35-40 innings under baseball's proposed 50 game season? If you're a player returning from injury like Jordan Hicks, why comeback to throw 15-20 innings? Manfred had to know that players wouldn't go for such a shorten season, so why make such a ridiculous proposal and then refuse any type of counter offer? The more MLB "negotiates" the more it seems like owners would be content not to have a 2020 season.
  • I believe the owners still have room to move. If they didn't, Manfred would have already shut the season down. You are correct about the players' view of things. Many players will really want to play, regardless of how little they get paid or how few games are played, but others want to take a pass. Again, an opt-out agreement could ensure that we get at least some form of baseball this summer.
  • Happy Friday Commissioner Gordon.

    Do you believe MLB will commit hara-kiri (not Harry Carry-we could use him today) to their future by not playing games in 2020?

    Can the NHL pick up fans due from the void created by no baseball? Hey, who doesn't want to feel cooler in summer by watching guys play on a 200 foot sheet of ice? I loved watching "Ice Road Truckers" during the summer for that very reason. What say you?
  • I still think we will see some baseball. As for hockey, sure, there is a chance to get eyeballs on the sport if they play in August before football launches for real. And if there is no baseball that could only help the NHL. People are starved for real sports. Enough of the Corn Hole competitions.
  • Having spent many of your formative years in Detroit, have you ever heard a rational explanation of how/why Norm Cash hit .361 in 1961? Or, do you have one? The guy hit .260 most other years.
  • I was a big Norm Cash fan but, no, I have no idea how he hit .361. I was only 5 that year. Al Kaline had a .909 OPS in 1961, one of the better showings in his career, so maybe the AL pitching simply stunk.
  • Can you shed a little light on how revenue sharing works/impacts resumption of play? NHL says in part it can resume play because it already has 50/50 revenue sharing agreement with the players. MLB seems to be saying it can't resume play until/unless it reaches a revenue sharing agreement and I believe is looking for a 50/50 agreement. Players' salaries are set by contracts. Believe MLB wants to pay less given shortened season but NHL players should have been paid close to full? Is the issue that revenue sharing allows for adjustment of contractual obligations if revenues are down? What else? Thanks
  • The NHL's revenue sharing agreement sets a salary cap and a salary floor according to projected revenues. Teams sign players to contract within those guidelines. Teams cannot spend more than the cap or less than the floor. The NFL has an escrow vehicle to use if revenues don't match projections. Since revenues could really drop next season, the two sides will have to iron something out to prevent the cap from taking a big drop and forcing teams to cut salary.
    Without revenue sharing and an escrow vehicle, MLB has a tougher time dealing with an emergency like this. 
    Here is how CBC summed up the escrow thing:
    "Players and owners split the NHL's "hockey-related revenue" 50/50 (players get their share in salaries). At the end of the playoffs every year, both sides get together and count up how much money the NHL made that season. They then use that number to estimate how much it'll make the next season (a five per cent bump is a typical ballpark guess). The salary cap, which is designed to make sure the players get 50 per cent of the revenue and no more, is then set based on that number.
    "But because it's impossible to predict exactly how much revenue will come in, a percentage of every player's paycheque is held in escrow until the money is counted at the end of the season (it isn't always the same, but 15 per cent is a good ballpark number). If the NHL does really well and exceeds the revenue projection by a significant amount, all that money is returned to the players. But if it doesn't, the owners get to keep however much they need to ensure they end up with exactly 50 per cent of the revenue.
    "Why does the revenue projection have to be exceeded in order for the players to avoid paying escrow? Because the 50/50 split is based on the assumption that a good amount of teams will spend below the midpoint between the salary cap and the salary floor (the minimum teams are allowed to spend on their players). Lately, the vast majority of teams are spending more than the midpoint, and a lot of teams spend right up to the cap. That's helping to result in the owners keeping a big chunk of the money in those escrow accounts every summer."
    What do you think of the NBA and NHL bringing back 22 and 24 franchises, respectively? I feel like if they're going to bring back so many, just restart the regular season, finish it, then go to the playoffs. It is unfair to the Timberwolves that their season ended but not the Suns season.
    I have no problem with these leagues bringing back every team within range of the postseason. In the case of the T-Wolves, they have just 19 victories. The NBA will play a limited number of regular season games before the play-in and there was no reason to include a team that bad.
    Do you think there's a bit too much doom and gloom about people saying the MLB is going to die if they miss this season? I'm a pretty casual baseball fan (and I don't like the Cardinals or what they've done to St. Louis) but in 5 years no one will remember if they didn't have a season.
    If there is no season because the two sides disagree on money, that would leave a bit of a mark. But you're right that in five years if baseball rolls on people will put this behind them, just people eventually got over the earlier stoppages. In forums like this people said they would never, ever go back to baseball -- but the attendance figures suggest that that was not a widespread sentiment.
    Any update on college football. Do we know if it'll start on time? Regular season expected? crowds?
    I believe the SEC will give it a go, as will the Big 12 for sure. We will see if the Pac-12, Big Ten and ACC go all in or if only some schools play. As for attendance, that could vary from place to place. Some schools may try to open the gates, some may limit attendance to a percentage and some may lock the gate. We'll see. Infections are still going up in a lot of places and the death toll remains pretty steady, so there is ample reason doubt to doubt that the seasons will play out.
    While every other sport stretches what's possible to reopen safely, including the extraordinary expense of daily testing as the NHL has proposed, MLB continues to argue about who gets the loose change found in clubhouse sofa cushions. Jeff, as of now do you think baseball screws this up and we don't have a 2020 season?
    No, no, I still there is room to settle. Again, if owners let guys opt out for any reason and dig into the farm system for replacements, this could happen.
    Since Barry lives in Orlando, he should know that hockey won't pick up any fans because the NBA will be getting all the attention.
    The NBA playoffs will be a lot of fun. A few years ago only a few teams had a real chance to win it all. That's not the case now. The NBA is in a real good place and the league wants to build on that by taking extreme measures to produce a champion.
    If there are MLB owners in such dire straits that they can’t take a one year loss (or, heaven forbid, do right by the minor leagues), why are the other owners not pushing them out for deeper pockets for the good of the game? Isn’t the whole point that ownership takes risk and thus gains the rewards?
    Hey, Scott Boras has chimed in! Just kidding. If there is no baseball this season, we actually could see a few owners bail. Not all of them have "giraffe money", as Steve Harvey said of Michael Jackson in one of his bits. But you're right, most of these owners or ownership groups have great resources. In the near term, this is more of a cash flow issue than a wealth quesiton. Bill DeWitt Jr. probably doesn't have $140 million sitting in a checking account to cover for his lost gate revenue. His franchise has climbed greatly in value and it has turned a steady profit, but he has invested money in the ballpark and the adjacent Ballpark Village along the way. 
    Cubs owner Tom Ricketts made this point:  “To cover the losses, all teams have gone out and borrowed. There's no other way to do it in the short run. In the long run, we may be able to sell equity to cover some of our losses but that's in the long run. Who would invest at the moment?”
    Full disclosure - I'm not a labor lawyer - or a lawyer of any type. It seems baseball has for decades had an inherent distrust between owners and players. I've always found it a bit odd in that scenario that the owners get to choose who the commissioner is - and the players have no voice in that. Given that scenario - always made sense that the owners should elect someone like Manfred to be their voice - and the owners/players somehow equally elect a commissioner for the game.
    The NHL is as close as sports come to a real partnership. The NBA and NFL have collective bargaining agreements that set guard rails for contracts. That's not quite a partnership, but in a broad sense those sports have revenue sharing. Baseball has remained more of an employer-employee relationship. The players association has been as resistent to payroll regulation as the owners have been, so here we are. There is a luxury tax, designed to help small-market teams and keep a semblance of competitive balance, but that is it.
    Owners need players and vice-versa. Players can talk about forming their own league, but that's not going to happen.
    Corn Hole Competitions.....you're on to something! Its basically bowling with the competitors holding beers. AB would be the main sponsor, all kinds of advertising possibilities. If ESPN can get ratings for spelling bees why not CHAP? You can be the commissioner.
    Hey, there has been lots of Corn Hole on ESPN. I guess officially its one word, Cornhole.
    On ESPN, Max Kellerman said that Hockey is not a major sport in America. I agree with him. Do you agree with him?
    In your opinion, of the players you've actually seen play, which Missouri basketball player had the most natural ability?
    Ah, a good one for the Antler. I'd go wth Doug Smith. He was a bigger guy with small man tools. He was so hard to guard. Today the sport is awash in such players, but back then he just tore up a really good conference.
    I also remember seeing what it was like trying to teach him defensive footwork during and after a Mizzou practice practice. Oh, boy. 
    Ricky Frazier was an explosive player. So many other guys had long NBA careers, but if Ricky had their drive and focus . . . 
    How much of a conspiracy theorist are you in terms of sports leagues rigging their playoffs? For example, many NBA fans think the NBA will rig their playoffs so Zion Williamson and the Pelicans get the 8th seed.
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