Baseball fans around the country eagerly tuned to social media Monday night, phones in hand for hours on end. Thousands of people across the nation, hoping a deal would be made between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association to prevent a delay to the start of the season.
MLB created a deadline of February 28, 2022, as the last chance for both sides to settle on an agreement to protect the regular season and Opening Day on March 31. MLB and MLBPA had met more than 10 times on Monday for varying lengths of time. Most of the sessions seemed to be positive, and they met well into the night. Fans went to sleep, hopeful they would wake up to the great news that Opening Day was still on.
Unfortunately, an agreement was not reached. MLB did extend its deadline to Tuesday, March 1, 2022, at 5:00 pm. Again, diehard and casual fans alike kept tabs all day and hoped that the positive tone of the meetings would result in some concrete progress. None was met by MLB’s self-imposed deadline, and the lockout continues.
Before Monday, Spring Training had already been canceled due to the ongoing lockout between the two sides, who still have yet to come to a Collective Bargaining Agreement. With the current status of the lockout, the first two series of the regular season have been canceled. The games will not be made up, and players will not be paid for those games. The 2022 MLB season will be the first since the 1994 season to have games canceled due to lockout.
The lockout began on December 2, 2021, due to the expiration of the previous CBA. Negotiations on financial items like minimum salaries and luxury tax, along with the future of the game of baseball itself, such as an expanded postseason, are all up in the air when proposing this labor agreement.
According to multiple sources, MLB is willing to cancel up to a month’s worth of games if the MLBPA does not agree to their terms. What will happen after that month if an agreement is not reached has not been determined.
MLB’s lockout, deadlines, and decisions on this matter are all completely reversible and can be undone at any time it chooses. MLB Commissioner Robert Manfred has received immense backlash from players and fans on social media for what can only be described as an ambivalence to the future of the sport.