MLB lockout continues to disappoint

WRITER’S NOTE: This article was finalized on March 9.  Major League Baseball and Major League Baseball Player Association agreed on terms for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement on March 10. Opening Day is slated for April 7.

The show must will not go on.

With multiple ‘deadlines’ set by Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association being missed, it is finally official: baseball’s regular season will be delayed two weeks at least. When MLB commissioner Rob Manfred smiled as he announced to reporters that America’s pastime would miss its first four series, baseball fans were rightfully upset Manfred however is not solely to blame, he is essentially the punching bag for the public to disapprove of so individual MLB owners can avoid flac for delaying baseball. 

Everything all started with the MLB posing threats of a lockout in November to deter players and the union from pushing too hard against the billionaires’ bad-faith requests. Unfortunately for both parties, this lockout would come to be. As a result, talks for a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) were supposed to be put into motion. 

This did not happen.

The CBA (as you can probably tell by this article being published in the first place) as of March 8, has not been reached and does not seem likely to be in the near future.

Talk about a bargaining tactic. 

Weeks into the lockout, owners would finally meet players at the negotiation table. MLB and its owners then presented bad offer after bad offer, then attempted to get the federal government involved as a mediator which the players firmly rejected. The league then also set wholly arbitrary deadlines as a sorry attempt to get players to cave in, with promises of a full 162-game season if they reached an agreement in time.

Unfortunately, the sad truth is the league never expected to play 162 games in 2022. They know the players still feel slighted by their last CBA and do not expect them to cave to any foolish demands. Even so, MLB has managed not only to slight their players but also their fans as well.

Doing arguably the worst thing they could have done,  Major League Baseball and its owners threatened the cancellation of games to its own players due to a labor dispute for the first time in almost 30 years.

As things stand, the league would follow through with this threat.   For both fans and players, there is no guarantee of baseball in 2022.

Of course, the players have done everything they can to get the deal done. The union has done real bargaining, compromising pitcher stats and overall quality of defense in an agreement to ban the shift and increase base sizes. 

This has continued. As of the evening of March 8,  MLB has reached out to the union with a new proposal, one that would raise minimum salaries in MLB to $770,000 and the luxury tax to $242,000, significantly up from previous figures reportedly discussed by both the league and its players. A similar sentiment is being felt now: more “deadlines” are being negotiated by the league and union.

Nevertheless, thanks to the MLB owners’ greed and utter stupidity, any unofficial report on labor allegations should be taken with a grain of salt. In the end, it is a worker versus owner situation, no matter who makes how much money. 

That is why it is important to remember: it is not the owners you pay good money to see play. 

Really, Major League Baseball is such a shame for the young fan. In an age where digital media and sports are so easily accessed, the league is killing the sport in an effort to save a dollar or two by withholding formerly nationally televised games for exclusive streaming deals. Growing up watching this sport gave my childhood and many others so much fulfillment, which only makes it that much harder to see it so grossly mismanaged.

Though, there is always hope: labor discussions are heating up according to multiple credible MLB news sources such as Jeff Passan and Bob Nightengale. Unfortunately for baseball, no matter how soon players take the field, this is something that will likely tarnish the sport for years to come. 

Thank you, Rob Manfred.

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