Max Scherzer on MLB Lockout: It’s over. Let’s just play baseball.

Port St. Lucy, FL – Max Scherzer may have been the new Mets pitcher star The most prominent face of the players union battle With Major League Baseball club owners regarding a new business contract.

He is a member of a higher union subcommittee. It was in the nine consecutive days of Face-to-face negotiations last month in Jupiter, Florida.Which included a 16-and-a-half hour marathon session. And he spent countless hours on the phone with peers across the league — all while trying to juggle parenthood and pre-season.

“I enjoyed being on the front lines for it,” Scherzer, 37, said on Saturday afternoon, the day before players were asked to report on quick, brief spring drills. “The hardest part was the amount of phone calls I had to make and communicate with everyone around the game to try and get that information.”

How did Scherzer celebrate after that? The deal was approved on ThursdayEnding the MLB-imposed lockdown?

“I drank too much,” he said after stopping and smiling.

Scherzer was thrilled to step onto the field with his new team. Since he lives on nearby Jupiter, Friday was the first day Scherzer – or any player – was allowed into their team’s facility since the shutdown began on December 2.

He’s been at the Mets’ spring training facility several times before – he’s played for the division’s Washington Nationals for seven years – but is now entering the local club. On Saturday, he threw a pulp session with Mets pitching coach Jeremy Hefner watching. The other day at a private facility, Scherzer said he threw a three-run, 50-court simulation game against the hitters.

So, even though spring training will be three and a half weeks, instead of the usual six, Scherzer said he almost felt where he would be on March 12 at regular camp.

“I feel like I’ve had a very good chance of getting to 100 stadiums by opening day,” Sherzer said, referring to the Mets’ new first game of the season, on April 7, against the Nationals in Washington.

Scherzer, a three-time winner of the Cy Young award, said he doesn’t care whether he started the game or if it was Mets champion Jacob Degrom who won the award twice and would likely head for third if not. to an arm injury last summer.

“It’s the reason I’m here,” said Scherzer, who has signed a contract Three-year contract worth $130 million With the Mets off-season, setting an MLB record for highest average annual salary ($43.3 million annually). “I want to be here and play with great shooters.”

Although they have not played together before, Scherzer said he has spoken to Degroom, 33, several times over the past few weeks as negotiations have heated up. One of the side benefits of working on a business deal, Scherzer said, is getting to know some of his new teammates – footballer Francesco Lindor and defender Brandon Nemo – before they share the club. Lindor, like Scherzer, is a member of the Federation’s Executive Subcommittee. Nemo is a representative of the Mets Guild.

Regarding the new collective bargaining agreement, Scherzer refused to talk about it in great detail. When asked if the association had achieved enough of its original goals – from improving competition between teams to better compensating young players to increasing the share of lagging players in the game’s revenue – Scherzer said he could discuss the pros and cons of the deal but preferred to move on. .

“I want the fans to focus on the matches and the players,” he said. “I don’t want the fans to hold on to the things we talk about in the deal. It’s over. Let’s just play baseball.”

Scherzer declined to explain why he – and the seven other elected members of the FA’s subcommittee, all veteran players with several million career earnings – voted against the deal on Thursday. The working charter was approved because the subcommittee is part of a larger executive committee, which also consists of 30 team representatives. The general group, mostly regular players, voted 26-12.

Nemo, 28, declined to explain why the Mets were one of the four teams that voted against the deal. It singled out one player-given perk to raise luxury tax thresholds in the new agreement: installing a new $60 million fourth threshold above the norm ($230 million in 2022) that could limit the highest spending of teams, such as the Los Angeles Dodgers and Mets, Who are currently expected to spend a record team and MLB leadership $270 million under billionaire owner Stephen A. Cohen.

“I’m not a huge fan because that’s basically Steve’s tax,” Nemo said, referring to the MLB “but it’s something they get excited about and want. That was one thing we weren’t quite into.”

He later added, “I certainly didn’t want to restrict him from spending the money he has to spend the way he wants. But in the process of making deals, you have to compromise on some things.”

Overall, though, Nemo said he felt the players were making progress in dealing with the scramble and helping the younger players, who were relied upon more but paid relatively little. But he said time will tell whether the measures will improve competition between teams.

although The relationship between MLB and the union is strainedThe dispute has frustrated the masses and put the spring training at risk, and a full season of 162 matches will be played.

“These are wicked fights and this is baseball’s business,” Scherzer said, adding later about the collective bargaining process, “It’s ugly. There’s no other way to say it. And so you have to say things and do things that represent all players and fight for the most that you can.” It’s just a fact. So you have to go ahead and get ready to play ball.”

With the deal sealed, Scherzer said he’s happy to get his life back and spend more time focusing on his new team, his three children and wife Erica — and less time making calls.

“The fact that I don’t have to be on the phone anymore and get more daddy time is a good thing,” he said.

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