Good morning, baseball fans!
Glad to be back, after round two with Covid. It wasn’t too bad this time, but Brady graciously extended my time off so I could focus on recovering and getting some energy back. So, big thanks to him for that. I’m feeling 100% and grateful that it wasn’t nearly as bad as it was in early 2021. Get your booster, folks.
Anyway, after two plus weeks off, imagine my surprise to see that literally nothing has changed on the lockout front. (I was in no way surprised.) Spring training should be here, with actual baseball games on the horizon. Instead, we get the MLB representatives walking out of meetings after 15 minutes. Fun stuff.
We can expect more of that today, as MLB and the MLBPA are set to meet again, reportedly in earnest, with the goal being to start the season on time. If we’re being realistic, it’s highly unlikely at this point as the lockout cut the offseason down to practically nothing and teams still have to fill their rosters and players still need a spring training of some kind so they can get back in shape.
But there are some signs that the talks will be serious this time. The players are apparently prepared to use a little bit of leverage, by refusing the proposed expanded 2022 playoffs if the season doesn’t start on time, per Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet in a piece posted on Friday.
However, the players may have some emerging leverage on their side. Sources with knowledge of the players’ thinking said the players have indicated to MLB’s top negotiators that they’d refuse to expand the 2022 playoffs if games are missed and players lose the chance to be compensated for a full season. Some industry observers believe that possibility has created additional urgency on the part of owners.
Maybe this will be what gets the owners to budge, or maybe it will be the lack of income when opening day comes and there are no games being played. Only time will tell, but hopefully we see some real progress this week.
How many days has it been since the owners locked out the players?
83 miserable days. It’s springtime, MLB. Give us back our baseball.