Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Andrew McCutchen was not impressed with how the back-and-forth negotiations over the 2020 season between Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association were handled.
"All of the negotiations, it got in the way of what we wanted to do, which was play baseball," McCutchen told NBC10's John Clark on Thursday, according to Corey Seidman of NBC Sports Philadelphia. "I recently saw and heard the commissioner say that we were going to be playing no more than 60 games regardless of the negotiations ... So my question to that was, then why did we do it in the first place? Why did we damper and put a cancer into the game that didn't need to be there?"
The league and the players' union were involved in months of publicly contentious negotiations after the coronavirus pandemic halted the 2020 campaign before the regular season began.
MLB eventually mandated a 60-game season after negotiations with the union fell apart, with players voicing their disapproval of how the league handled them.
"The integrity of this game was in a great place and we backtracked quite a bit," McCutchen added. "Just losing some of the fan base, in a sense, just because we let the negotiations get in the way of the importance of actually trying to get out onto the field. It was a very tricky situation we were all in. I hate that it happened the way it did. ... Nobody's perfect. Negotiations always happen. There's a way of going about it. Hopefully, this is something we all learn from."
Players began reporting to summer camps Wednesday to get prepared for the regular season, which is expected to begin July 23.