The owners continue to show their lack of care for the National Pastime by refusing to meet the revenue demands of their players. The miniscule amount of progress being made is startling and now the lockout will more than likely force the season to be shortened as that March 5th start to spring training deadline keeps getting closer.
There will be no making up for the time that is missed due to the lockout’s effects on the season and it’s a crippling and upsetting blow for baseball players and fans nationwide.
In a statement on Wednesday, a spokesperson for MLB stated that “A deadline is a deadline. Missed games are missed games. Salary will not be paid for those games.”
The owners nonchalant attitude toward the season being affected is inexcusable, and the fact that they could easily meet the Players Association’s revenue demands and refuse to shows how little they really care about the game in comparison to money.
What will the season look like
Now that the season is all but certain to be shortened, the question now is, by how much?
The MLB is just coming off its first full-length season after COVID decimated the sports world in 2020. It’s frankly embarrassing that you will now have two shortened seasons in three years.
COVID should’ve been a wake up call to the owners that baseball will not always be here, and it’s on them as the providers of capital to bring baseball to the people who need and want it.
Now that we’re about to move into the month of March, it’s likely that both the MLB owners and MLBPA will see that the beginning of spring without baseball is just not right. Considering how much they’ve been meeting, it’s likely that an agreement will be reached at some point in the month of March. That is by no means something baseball fans should get their hopes up for though.
Some kind of spring training will need to take place no matter what and the season being delayed may shorten it, but it will still need to happen before opening day.
If an agreement is not reached before the end of March, a good prediction is that the regular season doesn’t see more than 100 games at best. That’s over a third of the season gone.
The MLBPA needs the season much more than the owners do and both sides know that. It’s unfortunate to say, but this will likely eventually have to come down to the MLBPA settling for whatever they feel the next best offer is.
A few teams who have it worst
It’s hard to wrap your mind around saying this, but the franchise fans should feel the worst for is actually the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers were slated to host the 2020 all-star game before COVID struck, then were rescheduled to host it for the 2022 season.
This lockout may very well affect that all-star timetable which is such a disappointing thing for both the Dodgers, professional baseball and the fans. Being one of the most successful and popular teams on and off the field, one can only imagine the kind of hype and turnout an all-star game at Dodger Stadium in 2022 would’ve gotten.
It could still happen, but it will very likely have to be pushed back and rescheduled, assuming the lockout comes to an end sometime in March or early April at the latest.
You gotta feel for the Seattle Mariners as well. They’re coming off a season in which they missed the playoffs by an eyelash and had a monster offseason, signing all-star contact hitter Adam Frazier who hit a combined .305 with the Pirates and Padres in 2021. In addition, they also signed the reigning American League Cy Young winner Robbie Ray whose 2021 campaign speaks for itself.
The Mariners haven’t even made the playoffs since 2001, and now a season that was looking so hopeful is in dire straits.
It’s hard not to put the Mets in this category either. After a 2021 where they spent a good chunk of the season in first and finished disappointingly, they too had a big offseason which was crescendoed with the signing of three time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer who fans were beyond excited to see in the same rotation with Jacob deGrom.
What was going to be a very exciting season filled with opportunity and intrigue will more than likely now be put on hold as no agreement seems close to being reached. Baseball fans will have to pray that something changes in March, or else we may be looking at a season akin to 2020.