Major League Baseball’s effort to peacefully negotiate with its players a return from the coronavirus shutdown has ground to a halt. Barring a last-minute reversal, it appears that fans will be left with a short, league-imposed 2020 season and a bitter labor dispute that could consume the sport for years.

The two sides have been unable to solve a fundamental question: How to share the financial cost of playing a season without the revenues from fans in attendance because of the pandemic.

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