Another self-imposed deadline has come and passed, as MLB and the MLB Players Association were unable to reach a deal on a new collective bargaining agreement on Wednesday. As a result, the league has announced that, a week after hitting the brakes the first two series of the year, another two series will be canceled.
For the San Francisco Giants, that means that their scheduled home opening series against the Miami Marlins, which was scheduled for Friday, April 8, through Sunday, April 10, is no more. Neither is their home series against the San Diego Padres, which was scheduled to run from Monday, April 11 through Wednesday, April 13.
These are the first home games canceled for the Giants, as the first two series — a four-game set against the Padres followed by three games against the Milwaukee Brewers — were both scheduled to be on the road.
MLB has set April 14 as the earliest date for Opening Day, though the Giants were always scheduled to be off then. Their new potential opening day would be Friday, April 15, when they would be on the road to take on the Cleveland Guardians. The Giants home opener would be on Tuesday, April 26 against the Oakland A’s.
Here’s the full statement from commissioner Rob Manfred, announcing the move while, to the surprise of no one, attempting to depict the Players Association as villains.
In a last-ditch effort to preserve a 162-game season, this week we have made good-faith proposals that address the specific concerns voiced by the MLBPA and would have allowed the players to return to the field immediately. The Clubs went to extraordinary lengths to meet the substantial demands of the MLBPA. On the key economic issues that have posed stumbling blocks, the Clubs proposed ways to bridge gaps to preserve a full schedule. Regrettably, after our second late-night bargaining session in a week, we remain without a deal.
Because of the logistical realities of the calendar, another two series are being removed from the schedule, meaning that Opening Day is postponed until April 14th. We worked hard to reach an agreement and offered a fair deal with significant improvements for the players and our fans. I am saddened by this situation’s continued impact on our game and all those who are a part of it, especially our loyal fans.
We have the utmost respect for our players and hope they will ultimately choose to accept the fair agreement they have been offered.
I have a lot of thoughts about this statement, most of which are either A) LOL, B) a certain four-letter word followed by “off,” or C) a combination of those two.
The pandering to the fans while canceling games they could have avoided canceling is certainly something, as is the repeated reference to a “fair” deal, with no explanation as for why this “fair” deal never came in, I dunno, early February, or January, or better yet December, or, honestly, a year ago.
Here is the statement put out by the Players Association.
NEW YORK, March 9 – The owners’ decision to cancel additional games is completely unnecessary. After making a set of comprehensive proposals to the league earlier this afternoon, and being told substantive responses were forthcoming, Players have yet to hear back.
Players want to play, and we cannot wait to get back on the field for the best fans in the world. Our top priority remains the finalization of a fair contract for all Players, and we will continue negotiations toward that end.
So now 13 games have been removed from the Giants schedule, and, at a minimum, you’ll have to wait two extra weeks before you see your favorite dudes play baseball. The idea of a 162-game season isn’t yet dead, and MLB will certainly push to cram as many games as possible into the season to make sure they get all their TV revenue. We’re gonna doubleheader like it’s 2020, baby.
As for what’s next ... who knows. The sides will presumably continue to negotiate, and it would appear that the concept of an international draft — something the owners are demanding and the players are not budging on — is currently the primary sticking point.