3:58 PM PT -- The MLBPA ain't happy at all to hear Manfred's comments ... executive director Tony Clark just RIPPED the commish in a scathing statement.
"Players are disgusted that after Rob Manfred unequivocally told Players and fans that there would '100%' be a 2020 season, he has decided to go back on his word and is now threatening to cancel the entire season," Clark said.
"Any implication that the Players Association has somehow delayed progress on health and safety protocols is completely false, as Rob has recently acknowledged the parties are 'very, very close.'"
Clark continued, "This latest threat is just one more indication that Major League Baseball has been negotiating in bad faith since the beginning. This has always been about extracting additional pay cuts from Players and this is just another bad faith tactic in their ongoing campaign."
Baseball fans, look away...
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred is now less sure than ever there will be a 2020 season -- and he says it's all because of the "disastrous" money feud between owners and players.
"I'm not confident," the 61-year-old baseball honchotold ESPN on Monday. "I think there's real risk; and as long as there's no dialogue, that real risk is gonna continue."
Of course, just a few days ago, Manfred claimed he was "100%" positive the league WOULD play games this season, despite the extended COVID-19 layoff and the constant bickering over cash between owners and players.
But, after several more days of nasty negotiations ... Manfred is now walking back those comments, calling the public tussle between owners and players "a disaster for our game."
"Absolutely no question about it," he said. "It shouldn't be happening, and it's important that we find a way to get past it and get the game back on the field for the benefit of our fans."
The issue between the two sides has been constant throughout collective bargaining agreement talks over the past few weeks ... players want a prorated salary for games played, while owners want a more even split of the revenue.
Some of the league's BIGGEST stars -- everyone from Max Scherzer to Jack Flaherty -- has taken aim at the owners for their demands, and the two sides now seem further apart than ever.
Clearly, Manfred's noticed ... and now says there's a very real possibility there will be no Mike Trout homers or Clayton Kershaw strikeouts in 2020.
"The owners are 100% committed to getting baseball back on the field," Manfred said. "Unfortunately, I can't tell you that I'm 100% certain that's gonna happen."