Tony Clark said commissioner Rob Manfred made his changes to pace of play without any approval from the MLBPA.

MLBPA union head Tony Clark sounds off on tanking, pace of play


Tony Clark is apparently unhappy with both MLB and its commissioner.

Rob Manfred instituted new rules for pace of play in recent weeks and ruled the Marlins and Pirates were in compliance with the collective bargaining agreement's revenue sharing provisions despite the Major League Baseball Players' Association's concerns over the club's offseason moves and their motivation to win. 

“To the extent that we see what we think are upwards of a third of the league," Clark said. "Some of which have voiced their interest, or lack thereof, publicly in regards to the value of winning, or the value of competing day in and day out, that’s where our concern comes from."

Clark, the head of the MLBPA, was particularly miffed with the changes Manfred made in regards to pace of play and limiting mound visits to six per game per team.

“There was no agreement on what was put in place,” Clark told reporters at Pirates' camp Thursday, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “As a matter of fact, I’ll go so far as to suggest there were fundamental disagreements over what makes the most sense moving forward."

The point of contention lies with the concern over teams stealing signs as the Red Sox were accused of doing during the 2017 season. Astros pitcher Lance McCullers expressed himself that he would need to meet with his catcher more with runners on base to prevent sign theft.

While the players and union may not like the rules put in place, the way the changes were made were what bothered one Pirates pitcher.

“The thing I got from it the most was that the commissioner can do whatever he wants, essentially, whether we agree to it or not,” Jameson Taillon, who is the Pirates’ new union representative, said. “As players we’re really concerned about changing the fabric of the game.”

Neither the union, nor the players are happy with what is going on in the current age of baseball which could have some serious ramifications on the 2018 season. It remains to be seen just how it will have an effect, but there could be some momentum building for heated arguments in the next CBA which is scheduled to be negotiated in 2021.



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