Balk in baseball coronavirus talks as negotiations drag on

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FILE - In this Feb. 19, 2017, file photo, Major League Players Association Executive Director Tony Clark, answers questions at a news conference in Phoenix. Commissioner Rob Manfred says there might be no major league season after a breakdown in talks between teams and the union on how to split up money in a season delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. The league also said several players have tested positive for COVID-19. Two days after union head Clark declared additional negotiations futile, Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem sent a seven-page letter to players' association chief negotiator Bruce Meyer asking the union whether it will waive the threat of legal action and tell MLB to announce a spring training report date and a regular season schedule. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)

By RONALD BLUM

NEW YORK (AP) — An email from baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred to union head Tony Clark led to a balk in the drawn-out talks to start the pandemic-delayed season. The executive committee of the players’ association was set to vote and reject Major League Baseball’s latest offer for a 60-game season. Players want 70 games and are worried that if the 2020 season is cut short, the deal being negotiated would lock in innovations for 2021. Manfred wrote that if fewer than the agreed-upon number of games are played, the 2021 changes would be voided, people familiar with the email told The Associated Press.