Dodgers: All 40 players in group chat to discuss labor dispute

Los Angeles Dodgers bench (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Dodgers bench (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

Dodgers right-hander Ross Stripling offered insight into the negotiations between the owners and players for a 2020 season.

As baseball fans check Twitter and text their friends about the ongoing negotiations between MLB owners and players, the Los Angeles Dodgers are pretty much doing the same thing.

Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling revealed on Off Air with Joe and Orel that he is part of a group chat with all 40 Dodger players to discuss the labor dispute.

"“We have a group chat going and all 40 guys on our 40-man,” Stripling said. “There might even be some extras on there: some of our young guys that we are trying to get on with us and teach them stuff like this, and how it goes when you’re battling owners.”"

The right-hander said the players talk about a variety of topics in the group chat, such as reacting to proposed health protocols, discussing what happens if a player gets sick on the road, and of course, where they stand on financial issues.

Stripling said the group chat is “fired up” right now as the players are hoping to play again soon.

Optimism was high on Wednesday when it was reported a deal was close to being struck to resume the 2020 season, which has been suspended since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to multiple reports, after meeting face-to-face in Arizona, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and MLBPA chief Tony Clark felt like they had a framework toward a deal to play 60 games at full prorated salaries beginning on July 19 or 20 and concluding on September 27. The framework also included expanding the playoffs to 16 teams and instituting a universal designated hitter for both the 2020 and 2021 seasons.

The sudden turn of events occurred after the players essentially halted negotiations in asking the owners to tell them “where and when” they should report for the season.

Optimism on a potential deal quickly turned sour when the players voiced their opinion on the reported framework. The players want to play more than 60 games, so a resolution might be found if the owners are willing to compromise and reach a 65-70 game schedule. However, there are reportedly 6-8 owners who are willing to skip the entire season rather than give up too much in negotiations.

"“Basically, they have to decide what they want more,” Stripling explained in breaking down the crux of the argument. “Do they want to pay us for more games and have extended playoffs? Or do they want to pay us for less games and keep playoffs the same?”"

It has become a tiring topic to follow with everything else going on in the country. Hopefully, a resolution is found soon.

Stripling has been keeping busy during the pandemic hosting Live from Sunset Strip on the Dodgers Instagram account, interviewing teammates each Friday evening. He has also been offering financial advice to clients and ballplayers.