MLB union hints at work stoppage

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Sports

July 17, 2018 - 11:00 PM

Rob Manfred, commissioner of Major League Baseball, talks with reporters as the Houston Astros play the Texas Rangers on opening day of Major League Baseball at Globe Life Park Thursday, March 29 in Arlington, Texas. Rodger Mallison/Fort Worth Star-Telegram

WASHINGTON (AP) — Major League Baseball wants a broad discussion with players about rule changes to combat decreased offense and longer games, an initiative likely to be met by a testy union stung by declining free-agent prices and already raising the possibility of a work stoppage after the 2021 season.

Commissioner Rob Manfred and players’ association head Tony Clark outlined their differing agendas during separate sessions with the Baseball Writers’ Association of America before Tuesday night’s All-Star Game.

“There is a growing consensus or maybe even better an existing consensus among ownership that we need to have a really serious conversation about making some changes to the way the game is being played,” Manfred said. “We are not at the point where I can articulate for you what particular rule changes might get serious consideration. I can tell you the issues that concern people: I think that the period of time between putting balls in play, the number of strikeouts, to a lesser extent the number of home runs, the significance of the shift and what it’s done to the game, the use of relief pitchers and the way starting pitchers are going to be used.”

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