June 8 (UPI) -- A negotiator for the Major League Baseball Players Association told the league office MLB owners are "depriving America of baseball" as talks continue with the union for a return to the field amid the COVID-19 crisis.
The letter, obtained by The Athletic, was written by MLBPA chief negotiator Bruce Meyer and sent to deputy MLB Commissioner Dan Halem.
"The league's cynical tactic of depriving America of baseball games in furtherance of their demand for unwarranted salary concessions is shortsighted and troubling," Meyer wrote. "Meanwhile, other leagues are moving forward with their plans for resumption."
The MLB season has been suspended since mid-March in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The 2020 MLB season was scheduled to start March 26. Players were at spring training when the season was suspended.
NASCAR and UFC returned in mid-May. The PGA Tour is set to return Thursday. The NBA has a July 31st target date to restart its 2019-2020 campaign. The NFL has not changed its 2020 season schedule.
MLB owners and players agreed to pay reductions and prorated salaries for the players March 26. The owners on May 26 proposed an 82-game regular season schedule and additional player salary concessions. The players responded with a 114-game proposal and no additional salary reductions.
MLB owners rejected that proposal and have not yet proposed a counteroffer.
"In this time of unprecedented suffering at home and abroad, players want nothing more than to get back to work and provide baseball fans with the game we all love," Tony Clark, the MLBPA's executive director, said Thursday.
Clark made the statement after a conference call with the union's executive board and more than 100 MLB players. He said team owners said they will shorten the season unless players agree to further salary reductions.
The players and owners have said they hope to start the season at the start of July.