MLB’s self-imposed deadline for having their self-imposed problem fixed by someone else passed on Monday, so they extended the deadline by a day. And then the extended deadline passed on Tuesday and with it, cancelled games.
The league and the MLB Players Association failed to reach a common ground on a new collective bargaining agreement by 2:00 p.m. PT on Tuesday, resulting in commissioner Rob Manfred officially announcing the cancellation of baseball games for the second time in three seasons.
The commissioner kicked off the cancellation party by pulling the plug on the first two series of the year, with who knows how many more to follow.
“So what’s next? The calendar dictates that we’re not going to be able to play the first two series of the regular season, and those games are officially canceled.” — Rob Manfred— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) March 1, 2022
For the San Francisco Giants, that means a road series against the San Diego Padres followed by one against the Milwaukee Brewers. If the two sides are able to reach a deal without cancelling any more games, the Giants would begin the season on April 8 against the Miami Marlins, in what was scheduled to be their eighth game but their home opener.
So how did we get here? Aside from MLB refusing to negotiate for the last few years while steadily decreasing salaries, and essentially refusing to negotiate for the last few months while in a lockout they created, the league brought one final offer to the table that was, frankly, a bit laughable.
MLB’s best, final offer before pulling down games, per MLBPA official:— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) March 1, 2022
• Pre-arb bonus pool of $30 million, up $5 million from before
• No change on CBT thresholds (220/220/220/224/230)
• Minimum salary starting at $700k, going to $740k over course of deal. PA starts $725k
If you’re looking to have that translated into something a little bit more straightforward, here you go.
The owners of 24 out of 30 MLB teams are either billionaires or multi-billion dollar corporations. They’re delaying the season indefinitely over about $20 million total for the lowest paid players in the game.— Jordan Zakarin (@jordanzakarin) March 1, 2022
What lovely chaps.
But fear not, because it wasn’t all bad news. The game we love may be on indefinite hiatus due to a few dozen Logan Roys Logan Roying about, but at least the day was not without perhaps the best joke you’ve heard since the last good joke you heard.
“The concerns of our fans are at the very top of our consideration list.” — Rob Manfred, on the day MLB canceled regular-season games, during a league-initiated lockout— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 1, 2022
It’s hard to put to words how great Manfred is at being a baseball commissioner, but I’ll try anyway: he’s historically awful at it. Wait, that wasn’t hard at all!
the commissioner of Major League Baseball while he’s delivering the news that for the first time since 1995, regular season games will be canceled because of a work stoppage— megan BRAUNY FOREVER brown (@thatgirlondeck) March 1, 2022
if this doesn’t infuriate you idk what will pic.twitter.com/LDXSheDVpg
But it gets even better! And this one is specifically for the pro-owner faction of the fanbase crying about how the players already make hundreds of thousands if not millions and should just shut up and take a deal.
Manfred: ‘Last five years have been very difficult for the league from a revenue perspective.’ MLB has totaled about $43 billion in that period.— Travis Sawchik (@Travis_Sawchik) March 1, 2022
It’s unclear when the two sides will meet up to resume negotiations now that the deadlines have passed. The only thing that we do know is that the players stood in solidarity as they took yet another collective kick to the groin from a free-kicking cash cow.
Statement from the Major League Baseball Players Association: pic.twitter.com/rmpciPsQm4— MLBPA Communications (@MLBPA_News) March 1, 2022
Hope you like Minor League Baseball, folks. Because we could be here a while.