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What players are saying about MLB’s proposal to start the season

Red Sox outfielder Kevin Pillar said he wants to get back on the field, as long as it is safe.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

It looks as though negotiations between owners and players to open the baseball season only got worse Wednesday night.

A day after Major League Baseball proposed a sliding scale of salary slashing for a pandemic-delayed season with an 82-game schedule in ballparks without fans, players appeared likely to propose more regular-season games while holding to their demand for full prorated salaries, according to the Associated Press.

Red Sox outfielder Kevin Pillar, who signed with the team in February, was active on Twitter Wednesday to share his concerns.

“This point," he wrote. "I love playing and love what baseball does to people. Gives us something to cheer for, something to entertain, something to take us away from the harsh realities of life. I want to play more than anything and take care of my family as long as it is safe.”


After Pillar stated that “65% of players in the MLB make a million dollars or less,” another Twitter user said he had been exposed as a player who does not love the game, which drew a response from Pillar.

“Wow so sad," wrote Pillar. "I play the game cause I love it but it’s also my place of work and the way I put food on the table. If you agree with your boss to work for X over the course of Y days, then they said you only have to work half of Y days ... should you still be paid half of X?”

That last tweet drew a response from … Smash Mouth? Yes, the band that gave us the 1999 hit “All Star” decided to talk about labor negotiations with Pillar.

Posted on the band’s official account was the message: “The bigger issue is if one player tests positive that team is done for 14 days along with the most recent team they played. Umpires too. Quarantine mayhem! Difficult to even think about the pay.”


Pillar did get support from Kristin Smoak, wife of Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Justin Smoak, who was teammates with Pillar when both played for the Toronto Blue Jays.

“Also they are asking you guys to take less in the most unreasonable circumstances," she wrote, "with a super short time to prepare to play on time, while still 100% risk to your bodies and performance — will that be taken into consideration for future individual contracts — zero chance.”

Cleveland Indians pitcher Logan Allen tweeted a message to fans who have been criticizing the players: “Every fan yelling that we’re greedy. Guys like me don’t get to help make a decision. This is two sides, making a business decision. Period.”

Late Wednesday night, Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer indicated that the players would not discuss additional pay reductions with MLB.

“After discussing the latest developments with the rest of the players there’s no need to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions," he said on Twitter. “We have previously negotiated a pay cut in the version of prorated salaries, and there’s no justification to accept a 2nd pay cut based upon the current information the union has received.

"I’m glad to hear other players voicing the same viewpoint, and believe MLB’s economic strategy would completely change if all documentation were to become public information.”


Earlier this week, New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman did not appear optimistic that things would work out.

“This season is not looking promising," he wrote. "Keeping the mind and body ready regardless. Time to dive into some life-after-baseball projects. Hope everyone is staying safe and healthy. Brighter times remain ahead!”

Stroman followed that tweet up with another in which he expressed a desire to return to playing:

“Praying that we get this figured out and back on the field soon. It’s hard to put into words how much I miss the game. Nothing compares to that feeling of excitement/nausea when taking the mound. Been craving that. However, WE must all stay positive and keep good faith daily!”

Follow Andrew Mahoney on Twitter @GlobeMahoney.