The location: MLB offices in New York City
The actor: MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, speaking into one television camera
The date: On or approximately June 16
“Thank you for joining me today. It is with a heavy heart that I must inform you that there will be no Major League Baseball in 2020.
“Despite the best efforts of the owners to come up with reasonable proposals that would benefit all parties — and guarantee the fans what they want most: baseball — the players refused to play ball.
“I repeat: The players refused to play ball. And that’s because their representatives agreed to something in March and then tried to walk away from it.
“The players will tell you in the coming hours that they had agreed to a one-time salary rollback in March. That is not true. It was clear then that another salary reduction would be necessary if the 2020 season would have to be played without fans in the stands. It didn’t take long for both sides to realize that was inevitable; the health conditions surrounding coronavirus remain too unpredictable for us to risk the health and safety of our great fans by allowing them into the ballparks across the U.S. and in Canada.
“In trying to cover up their mistake, the players‘ negotiators refused to bargain in good faith over the past few weeks; they were interested more in deflecting blame from themselves rather than working to ensure a 2020 season would be played.
”They will try to convince you that the owners were trying to take money out of their pockets.
“That is far from the truth.
“To the great fans, I am so very sorry that you won’t be able to watch your favorite players and teams this year. You have suffered so much because of coronavirus, and I know the owners were very eager to give you baseball.
“The players’ reps had a different agenda.”