The MLB lockout that saw league commissioner Rob Manfred cancel the first weeks’ games of the season could have a significant impact on the league’s finances. The 2022 regular season may not start for another month after Opening Day was postponed.
MLB Cancels Opening Day
After lengthy negotiations between the owners and the MLB Players Association (MLBPA) in Florida, Manfred announced that the games would be canceled on March 1. A result that the MLB commissioner had predicted would be “disastrous” weeks ago is now a fact and it may not be ending soon.
The prospects for negotiations between the two sides are grim. They met for informal talks on Thursday. A 162-game schedule is already on the table. There’s a possibility that the 2022 MLB season could be canceled completely
The Athletic’s Evan Drellich reported Friday that industry sources are “generally not optimistic” about 2022’s season starting in April.
When MLB imposed a lockout last December and didn’t submit a proposal for a CBA for more than 40 days, it was done as a leverage play. In the hope that losing money would force players’ hands, team owners were willing to delay Opening Day.
The MLBPA was prepared for this moment, however. Representatives from the union were gearing up their peers about the worst-case scenario after its relationship with MLB brass turned sour. According to Andrew Miller, pitcher, the lockout will continue beyond Opening Day.
Teams Reject Deal with MLBPA
According to Andy Martino, SNY’s Andy Martino, MLB’s last offer to the players’ organization was rejected by four owners. Drellich reported that Arte Moreno of the LA Angels, Chris Ilitch of the Detroit Tigers, Ken Kendrick of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Bob Castellini of the Cincinnati Reds voted against increasing the threshold for the luxury tax to $220 million.
The threshold was not exceeded by any of the four teams and they did not qualify for the postseason in 2021. Both the Tigers and Angels reached the playoffs for the first time in 2014. They were both swept in the ALDS.
In the past nine years, the Reds have made two postseason appearances but failed to win a single game. In the last decade, the D-Backs made it to the playoffs only once.
MLBPA Launches Player Fund
The MLBPA announced today that it has launched a $1,000,000 fund to assist stadium workers and other employees who are facing financial hardship due to the league’s lockout.
Tony Clark, executive director of MLBPA, stated that the fund was intended to help workers most affected by the MLB-imposed lockout. However, the owners have ignored their livelihoods in their attempts to force players to accept an unfair deal.
MLBPA stated that its fund will support a wide variety of workers, including ushers, security personnel, ushers and transportation crews.
Liz Shuler, President of AFL-CIO, stated that her organization will distribute the money with MLBPA. She also said that it is important to support all those who make baseball possible.
Shuler stated, “Whether you’re a worker on the baseball field or a worker behind the scenes, we all deserve dignity and respect on the job. The labor movement will do everything in our power to support these and all workers.”