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MLB: Swing and a miss

Baseball

The GIST: Bottom of the ninth, two outs, two strikes — today’s the MLB’s self-imposed deadline to reach a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) before some regular season games are canceled…and it’s not looking good.

February 28, 2022
JULIO AGUILAR/GETTY IMAGES
JULIO AGUILAR/GETTY IMAGES

The GIST: Bottom of the ninth, two outs, two strikes — today’s the MLB’s self-imposed deadline to reach a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) before some regular season games are canceled…and it’s not looking good.

How we got here: Let’s take it back to 2021. The owners and players met just once (and for only 10 minutes) before the CBA’s December 1st expiration date, failing to avoid a lockout.

  • Since then, negotiations between the league and the Players’ Association have remained, in a word, brutal. The sides have exchanged multiple proposals but are still far apart on key issues, including salaries.
  • Amid the negotiations, over a week of Spring Training games have already been canceled, and even more are in jeopardy. Can’t we just play ball?

The latest: Players and owners met for seven consecutive days to no avail last week. Of note, commissioner and procrastinator-in-chief Rob Manfred showed up to negotiations on Friday for the first time, then players nearly walked out on Saturday after being angered by the owners’ proposal. Jeez.

What’s next: If there’s no deal by the end of the day, the league will begin canceling regular season games, as they claim there won’t be enough training time to play a full 162-game schedule (Spring Training typically lasts four weeks). Put on those rally caps.