Good morning, baseball fans.
Today is the day in which Major League Baseball has dictated that an agreement needs to be reached in order for the season to start on time. You know, to end a lockout that they instigated, followed by weeks of no attempts to negotiate from them, followed by an absolute unwillingness to actively negotiate with the MLBPA.
If you’ve got a subscription to The Athletic, Ken Rosenthal wrote an absolutely scathing rebuke of MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred and the owners group. It’s an absolute must-read if you can. I’d just like to share this part:
...the league has shown such bad form that any negative portrayals of the players’ side are not even relevant to the conversation. The owners are so intent on a zero-sum victory, so cavalier about the possibility of missing games, they do not even care how fans might interpret their actions.
Rosenthal goes on to show the ridiculous disparity between the negotiation tactics between the two sides, showing the players submitting realistic requests and making actual concessions to try to move the needle, and MLB basically just responding with a loud fart noise.
So remember this when your Uncle Jim starts talking about how the players are entitled whiny rich people (and then almost immediately start simping for the owners). The players aren’t responsible for the lack of baseball. They are not on strike. They are the only side actually negotiating in good faith.
There’s only one side actually trying to start the season on time and it isn’t the owners. I’m fully on board with the players walking away at this point, since they’re basically negotiating with a brick wall, and letting the owners remember that they have no product without them. Craig Calcaterra put it best, I think:
The owners are willing to sacrifice a month or maybe more of the season in order to break the union. I suggest taking them up on that invitation -- specifying expanded playoffs are now off the table -- and seeing how their debt holders and gambling partners feel about that.— Craig Calcaterra (@craigcalcaterra) February 26, 2022
Anyway, as of the this is being written (Sunday afternoon), no progress has been made. If anything, things have gone backwards. So it’s hard to imagine that anything will change in time to avoid a delay to the start of the season, but I guess anything can theoretically happen. We’ll keep you posted.
How many days has it been since the owners locked out the players?
90 days, and it looks like we might as well start hunkering down for another 90 days.