Self-assessment is an important trait in navigating life and an essential one in negotiations. Blake Snell is lacking it.
He’s a very good pitcher but he’s not someone who unilaterally impacts the profit margin of his MLB team or the league as a whole. So, the suggestion that he won’t play unless he makes his full salary is misguided, misinformed and out of line with what’s going on in the world around him.
On his Twitch channel Wednesday, Snell made his feelings clear. Citing the elevated risk of playing in this atmosphere, he said taking a pay cut “is not happening.”
“I gotta get my money,” continued Snell, who’s slated to earn a $7.6 million salary in 2020. “I’m not playing unless I get mine, okay?”
The 2018 AL Cy Young winner went on to say “Y’all gotta understand, man, for me to go, for me to take a pay cut is not happening, because the risk is through the roof. It’s a shorter season, less pay. I gotta get my money. I’m not playing unless I get mine, okay? And that’s just the way it is for me.”
“Like, I’m sorry you guys think differently, but the risk is way the hell higher and the amount of money I’m making is way lower. Why would I think about doing that? Like, you know, I’m just, I’m sorry.”
MLBPA executive director Tony Clark has recently pointed out that owners agreed in March to pay players a prorated portion of their 2020 salaries. A lot has changed since March.
If that agreed-upon plan goes through, Snell would get around half his salary for half the work. Owners are seeking a further reduction since those games will almost certainly be played without fans.
Plus, MLB owners are looking at additional expenses during a season in which big-league rosters are expanded to 30 per team and many additional logistics must be taken into consideration. When you factor in the additional costs of COVID-19 tests, personal protective equipment, and additional accommodations, you’re adding an inordinate expense to your business without adding any additional guaranteed profit.
Under the owners’ proposed plan, players would get more if revenue somehow goes through the roof. Is a better alternative MLB owners deciding they can’t afford to pay salaries without ticket income? In that case, they could close shop and mitigate their losses for a year or more. How many players in their prime would be calling the owners cheap and greedy in that scenario? How many fans would be outraged?
To be fair, Snell is right: he is risking his life. And if he chose not to play due to the health concerns, I would get that and would be 100 per cent supportive.
Fellow player Sean Doolittle articulated the nuance of that risk well and the concerns are valid.
But Snell is conflating two separate issues here. If it isn’t safe to play, the players are not going to be playing – that’s a non-starter. These negotiations are happening under the assumption that it is safe to play.
When Snell signed his five-year, $50 million contract last spring, there was no accounting for the health risks he’d face in a global pandemic. This is not danger pay. So, for him to say he should get his full salary because of a health risk is nonsensical because that health risk had nothing to do with his willingness to accept the number he signed for.
What did impact it was his understanding of the revenue the team and league was making off of the labour of the players. Well, that revenue is inevitably now going to go down. And if you don’t believe it’s going to go down? If you don’t trust the owners? That’s why you tie salaries to revenue. Then you’re partners in the highs and lows.
It would be one thing if he said a 50/50 split isn’t fair because players are assuming 100 per cent of the health risk. That I’d understand. The owners can watch from the comfort of their homes while players risk their health. But he didn’t say the revenue should be more tilted to the players. He said he wants the contract he signed for. Well, the reality is we don’t live in that world anymore.
With that in mind, there’s already outside pressure for players to take less.
“I’m disappointed in many ways that players are holding out for high salaries and payments during a time when everybody is sacrificing,” Governor of Illinois J. B. Pritzker said recently.
Even former player Mark Teixeira isn’t holding the company line.
“You have people all around the world d taking pay cuts. Losing their jobs, losing their lives, frontline workers putting their lives at risk these are unprecedented times and this is the one time that I would advocate for the players accepting a deal like this,” he told ESPN Tuesday. “A 50/50 split of revenue is not that crazy.”
What Snell fails to understand is the privilege he has, even after a relatively modest season in which he posted a 4.29 ERA in only 107 innings. Almost everybody in society has had to make some concessions the rest of the world is making. Really the rest of pro athletes are. MLB teams are laying off employees and Snell is upset he has to split profit with the organization?
Some will argue Snell has a skill and he should be paid what the skill is worth on the open market. I agree. Anyone should leverage their power to secure as much economic wealth as they legally can. But Snell isn’t just making his salary due to his skill. Part of the reason Snell makes as much as he does is due to the fact he pitches for an MLB team. Over the course of generations, MLB teams have built up infrastructure and marketing that helps bring in revenue.
Snell could ask to be let out of his contract tomorrow, yet he’s not going to be paid more money to pitch overseas than he is in the MLB. The KBO’s Doosan Bears or Kia Tigers could sign him tomorrow and he’d make max $1 million a year, the top salary for the three foreign players any team is permitted to sign.
The players’ distrust of the owners is real. And I get it. But this is a time in our history where everyone is being asked to think collectively and not individually. Is it better for the health of baseball if the players hold their bargaining chips but sit at home? The 1994 strike badly crippled baseball and that was at a time when the North American economy was booming.
Again, I’m not arguing a 50/50 split is fair or correct. But it’s not like the idea is insulting. Marvin Miller fought hard and wanted a free market system with no cap and no floor. But if that comes at an expense of a World Series again, that’s not an opportunity either side will be able to recoup in the future.
Traditionally players take the heat, and generally I’m pro player in labour negotiations. The common man has more in common with the player, who is an employee than the owner who is an employer. I don’t often side with billionaires against millionaires.
Yet if players aren’t willing to concede at all in talks with the league, we’ve got a bigger issue on our hands and we likely won’t have baseball this year.
And then what will Blake Snell do then? Not something that’s going to pay him millions.
Kansas City Chiefs at Las Vegas Raiders odds, picks and prediction – USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire
The Kansas City Chiefs (8-1) square off against the Las Vegas Raiders (6-3) on Sunday Night Football in Allegiant Stadium at 8:20 p.m. ET. Below, we preview the Chiefs-Raiders betting odds and lines and make our NFL picks and predictions.
Chiefs at Raiders: Betting odds, spread and lines
Money line: Chiefs -345 (bet $345 to win $100) | Raiders +280 (bet $100 to win $280)
Against the spread/ATS: Chiefs -7 (-115) | Raiders +7 (-106)
Over/Under: 56.5 (O: -115 | U: -106)
Special Sunday Night Football Betting Promotion
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Chiefs at Raiders: Game notes
The Raiders are dealing with adversity as they had eight players activated from the COVID reserve list Saturday and will be without four starters due to COVID-19.
The Chiefs had a bye in Week 10 and head coach Andy Reid’s teams typically perform well with time off. Since Reid took over as Kansas City’s coach in 2013, the Chiefs are 5-2 straight up and 4-3 ATS coming out of a bye week.
Las Vegas had a dominant performance at home vs. the Denver Broncos in Week 10. The Raiders routed the Broncos, 37-12, behind a rushing attack that had 203 rushing yards with four touchdowns and a defense that had five takeaways against Denver.
Kansas City’s offense is playing as advertised: 2nd in total yards per game, points per game, and third-down conversion percentage.
The Raiders gave the Chiefs their only loss this season, 40-32, in Week 5. It was a clean victory for Las Vegas who had 77 more total yards, were better on third down and possessed the ball for 35:18.
Chiefs at Raiders: Key injuries
OT Mike Remmers (ribs) questionable
OT Mitchell Schwartz (back) out
WR Sammy Watkins (hamstring, calf) out
DT Maurice Hurst (ankle) questionable
KR/RB Jalen Richard (chest) questionable
LB Cory Littleton (COVID-19) out
LT Trent Brown (COVID-19) out
DE Clelin Ferrell (COVID-19) out
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Chiefs at Raiders: Odds, betting lines, predictions and picks
Chiefs 29, Raiders 24
Money line (?)
This is a PASS for me mostly because of the insane situational edge for the Chiefs. Week 10 was an easy victory for the Raiders, but it was still a division game, while Reid is coming off a bye with the defending Super Bowl champions looking to avenge their only loss.
I don’t know my buy price for a Raiders upset, but it’s not what BetMGM is offering.
Against the spread (?)
Reid-trends be damned, I am ROLLING WITH THE RAIDERS +7 (+105). I’d recommend waiting closer to kickoff to see if you can get this over a full touchdown especially since people like hammering favorites at the end of football Sundays.
The House is going to NEED the Raiders to come through for them: 86% of the money wagered and 87% of the bets made are on the Chiefs, according to Pregame.com.
Kansas City has a bottom-10 run defense across most categories and Las Vegas gains the seventh-most yards on the ground per game and runs the ball at the fifth-highest rate in the NFL.
Jon Gruden and the Raiders are going to pound the rock and control the tempo of this game. GIMME RAIDERS +7 (-106) for 1.5 units.
I’m not usually a trends bettor but here are a few good ones to explain my lean on UNDER 56.5 (-106):
Kansas City has a 1-5-1 O/U record following a bye week while Reid has been the coach.
The Chiefs are 0-5 O/U in their last five games vs. a team above .500.
The Under is 6-2 in Kansas City’s last eight prime-time games.
I’ll TAKE UNDER 56.5 (-106) for a quarter-unit.
Gannett may earn revenue from audience referrals to betting services. Newsrooms are independent of this relationship and there is no influence on news coverage.
Pope, for first time, says China's Uighurs are 'persecuted' – Reuters
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – In a new book, Pope Francis for the first time calls China’s Muslim Uighurs a “persecuted” people, something human rights activists have been urging him to do for years.
In the wide-ranging “Let Us Dream: The Path to A Better Future,” Francis also says the COVID-19 pandemic should spur governments to consider permanently establishing a universal basic income.
In the book, a 150-page collaboration with his English-language biographer, Austen Ivereigh, Francis speaks of economic, social and political changes he says are needed to address inequalities after the pandemic ends. It goes on sale on Dec. 1.
He also says people who see wearing masks as an imposition by the state are “victims only in their imagination” and praises those who protested against the death of George Floyd in police custody for rallying around the “healthy indignation” that united them.
“I think often of persecuted peoples: the Rohingya, the poor Uighurs, the Yazidi,” he said in a section where he also talks about persecuted Christians in Islamic countries.
While the pope has spoken out before about the Rohingya who have fled Myanmar, and the killing of Yazidi by Islamic State in Iraq, it was the first time he mentioned the Uighurs.
Faith leaders, activist groups and governments have said crimes against humanity and genocide are taking place against Uighurs in China’s remote Xinjiang region, where more than 1 million people are held in camps.
Last month, during a conference at the Vatican, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blasted China over its treatment of Uighurs.
Beijing has rejected the allegations as a attempt to discredit China, saying the camps are vocational education and training centres as part of counter-terrorism and deradicalisation measures.
Many commentators have said the Vatican was reluctant to speak out on the Uighurs earlier because it was in the process of renewing a controversial accord with Beijing on the appointment of bishops. The accord, which Pompeo urged the Vatican to abandon, was renewed in September.
Francis also gives his clearest support to date in the book to universal basic income (UBI), a controversial policy espoused by some economists and sociologists in which governments give a fixed amount of money to each citizen with no conditions attached.
UBI was a cornerstone of the campaign of Andrew Yang last year during the Democratic presidential primaries in the United States.
“Recognising the value to society of the work of nonearners
is a vital part of our rethinking in the post-Covid world. That’s why I believe it is time to explore concepts like the universal basic income (UBI) …” he said.
“By providing a universal basic income, we can free and enable people to work for the community in a dignified way,” he said.
Francis again criticised trickle-down economics, the theory favoured by conservatives that tax breaks and other incentives for big business and the wealthy eventually will benefit the rest of society through investment and job creation.
He called it “the false assumption of the infamous trickle-down theory that a growing economy will make us all richer.”
Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing By Tom Brown
Raptors’ Alex Len presents untapped talent at low risk – Sportsnet.ca
Likely fitting in as another end-of-rotation depth piece, Len, along with the reported signings of Aron Baynes and Chris Boucher, fill out Toronto’s depth chart at the centre position with the departures of Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol.
Here’s more on what he might be able to provide the Raptors.
Height: Seven feet | Weight: 250 pounds
Former team: Sacramento Kings
2019-20 stats: PPG: 8.0 | RPG: 5.8 | FG%: 55.5
A former top-five pick
Believe it or not, back in 2013 the Phoenix Suns took Len fifth overall in the NBA draft.
Granted that wasn’t exactly a world-beater draft year, but even back then it seemed a little high. As such, the “bust” moniker has dogged him for much of his career.
With that said, this could be to the Raptors’ benefit.
According to Sportsnet’s Michael Grange, Len is signing a one-year deal with the remainder of the team’s mid-level exception — which comes out to just about the minimum — giving the Raptors an opportunity to see if he might be able to pan out as a reclamation project of sorts at almost no risk, like they’ve attempted in the past with names like Bismack Biyombo and Jared Sullinger.
Obviously, one of those guys worked out and the other didn’t, and we don’t know the outcome of the Len experiment yet, but adding more depth at centre with the possibility of some untapped talent at little risk seems like as good an idea as any.
A classic, bruising big
As for Len’s game, the main reason why he didn’t live up to his draft billing is because the style of the play in the NBA passed him by. His low-post skills have become much less valuable and his inability to stretch the floor with outside shooting make him something of a liability as he’s not a feature centre that will have plays run for him and be surrounded by shooters himself.
Len is an old-school centre with limited offensive game outside of post-ups and tip-ins around the basket. However, he’s so big and strong that when given the opportunity, he’s quite adept at doing those two things.
Unfortunately, he lacks athleticism so he isn’t a player who’s going to do much above the rim, but he can make up for it with his great motor and general energy he brings to the game when on the floor. There will be no fear of a lack of effort from Len.
Defensively, Len might be able to show his value more as he’s a good shot-blocker with excellent timing on when to go up and contest the ball. Looking at his combined numbers split between the Sacramento Kings and Atlanta Hawks (who dealt him to the Kings on trade deadline day), Len averaged nearly two blocks per 36 minutes. Additionally, he has quicker feet and is more agile than you might think just looking at him, meaning he can defend some pick-and-roll as well.
Though he may not feature the ideal skill package you want in a modern NBA big man, Len still has some he can bring to the table.
His name makes for some obvious puns
All right, come on. Get it out of your system now:
Kansas City Chiefs at Las Vegas Raiders odds, picks and prediction – USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire
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