Disagree – What we know and don’t know as MLB delays Opening Day
No arrangements. The MLB lockdown continues.
Major League Baseball announced the postponement of the 2022 regular season after MLBPA player leaders unanimously agreed not to accept MLB’s final proposal by the league’s deadline of 5 p.m. ET.
And after? Will the Opening Day really be postponed? Why can’t owners and players get together? How much longer is this mess going to last?
ESPN baseball pundits Alden Gonzalez and Jeff Passan address the biggest questions surrounding MLB’s ongoing labor dispute.
They had three months to reach an agreement; Why couldn’t owners and players agree on a new CBA?
There are several macro reasons why this has not been done – players’ deep mistrust of ownership, the desire to make significant gains on a collective bargaining agreement that has been played out by front- savvy offices, a national billionaire penchant for maximizing profits no matter the blowback – but here’s a mic: At the start of negotiations, the owners expressed a willingness to reallocate money that goes to players but not l ‘to augment. In other words, the cake might change but not grow.
The position of the owners contrasted sharply with the ambitions of the union. That’s why every counter in the league seemed to include a main component – like a salary floor with a significantly lower cap – and why proposals regarding minimum wages, the luxury tax threshold and the amount of money that would fund a new player the pool was nominal at best. The league waited three months to counter the union’s first basic economic proposal, then six weeks to backtrack after imposing the lockdown in December – clear signs for the union that the owners were motivated to drag this out in the league. hope to make the players give in.
The real negotiations did not take place until the last week of February. At this point, the union had backed down from its demands for earlier cuts to free agency and revenue sharing and had made significant concessions on the percentage of additional players who would become eligible for arbitration sooner. The owners, in turn, have made more generous proposals regarding minimum wages, the luxury tax threshold and the pool of additional players. But the gap is still too big. Owners don’t want to spend much more. Players believe – given the extra money that will be provided by an expanded post-season, not to mention the coming influx of gambling – that they should. — Alden Gonzalez
What happens to the negotiations, now that the deadline to start on time has passed?
The parties will continue to talk as long as each deems it advantageous to do so. As the deadline approached, there was a willingness to act on issues where both sides were entrenched, which is an obvious consequence of the league’s implementation of the deadline and illustrates why. . There is a deal to be made. Everyone involved knows this. It’s just about finding not necessarily a deal that makes all parties happy, but one that both can live with – knowing the terms of it, in addition to avoiding the horror that comes with losing even more matches, beat the alternative. — Jeff Passan
When could the MLB season start at the earliest now that Opening Day is delayed?
Rob Manfred has announced that the first two sets of the regular season have been canceled and will not be made up. The season could therefore start as soon as possible on April 8.
Is there anything the commissioner could do to start the season without a new CBA deal?
Absoutely. Rob Manfred could lift the lockout and players could report to work and play under the old deal. He’s unlikely to because it gives players the opportunity to hit, and because the sunset over competitive balance in the old CBA means MLB would essentially function without it, but the league has this option in his pocket. — Passan
Will the schedule be resumed as currently defined when the season finally begins, or will MLB have to come up with a new schedule for a shortened season?
The league will resume the schedule. To do otherwise – with tickets having been sold out for specific matches on specific dates – would be very complicated. — Passan
Does either side gain more leverage in the negotiations if the regular season continues to be delayed?
Owners have the upper hand. They’re billionaires and they’ve often owned their franchises for decades, passing them down from generation to generation. In the long run, a few missed games in a season are just a blot on their radar. Players’ careers are significantly shorter, and so is their earning power. They make much bigger sacrifices when games are missed. The bet the owners are making is that the missing paychecks will fracture the union enough for players to sink further on their side.
The MLB Players Association has been preparing for this since the last CBA was signed more than five years ago, hoarding a significant portion of license checks to pay players in the event of a work stoppage. Starting in April, players will be paid $15,000 per month. This does not correspond to their typical salaries. But the players do have some leverage: expanded playoffs and the financial windfall that comes with it, which the union was smart to tie to a full season.
Public support also seems to work in favor of the players. The blame for a shortened season, and its ripple effects, lies primarily with MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, fair or not. He’s at the mercy of the owners who employ him, but it’s up to him to build enough consensus to make a deal. — González