We’re officially past the halfway point between the start of the MLB lockout and the tentative dates for the start of Spring Training. We’re only a few weeks away from clearing the halfway point between the start of the lockout and the scheduled start of San Francisco Giants baseball games.
And if you’re wondering where things stand between the billionaire owners, who have locked out the millionaire and thousandaire players, well ... pretty much where they stood when the whole shebang kicked off over a month ago.
On Tuesday morning, ESPN’s Jeff Passan and Jesse Rogers reported on the latest between the two sides. Their general conclusion? There’s nothing to see here.
But they did offer up this in the report:
Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association plan to hold a bargaining session Thursday, sources familiar with the situation told ESPN. MLB is expected to make a core-economics proposal at the session, which would be the first between the sides since the league locked out the players on Dec. 2.
That’s ... probably not something, but not nothing, either.
It seems that both sides have been sitting around doing nothing, which was entirely expected. That just seems to be a formality with these types of negotiations, not unlike the players tossing the baseball around the diamond after a strikeout. Is it necessary? No. Does it accomplish anything? Also no. Is it a formality that everyone just accepts, expects, and never talks about? Yes.
But now we’re at a point where things need to start moving. The holidays are past. The mandatory month of inaction is past. Now the things ahead of us are pitchers and catchers reporting, Spring Training, preseason games, and meaningful games. With those serving as something resembling a deadline, a meeting was inevitable, and hopefully it actually leads to something (it won’t ... not yet, at least).
Passan and Rogers report that, since the start of the lockout, the issue of bad and tanking teams has become more notable between the two sides, with the players unhappy that the league incentivizes tanking, while the owners of small market teams want more salary restrictions to help them be more competitive. The two reporters add that the competitive balance tax threshold is expected to be the primary point of contention here.
And that’s about all we know, because that’s about all there is. The wheels are moving, in the same sense that a snail is moving, or that you and I are moving towards our 2022 resolutions.
Hopefully there will be a real update in the coming days, and until then, I wouldn’t put down any deposits for AirBnBs in Scottsdale.