MLB Lockout Threatens Start to Spring Training
Super Bowl Sunday is coming upon us and afterward, pitchers and catchers are set to report to Arizona and Florida. On paper, that is. The Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) and Major League Baseball (MLB) have been unable to come to an agreement after the most recent collective bargaining agreement expired on December 1. Over two months later, things do not look good.
"We want a system where threshold and penalties don’t function as caps, allows younger players to realize more of their market value, makes service time manipulation a thing of the past, and eliminate tanking as a winning strategy."
While players such as Scherzer have been making record salaries - Scherzer will average $43 million per season in his new deal with the Mets, the largest ever in MLB history - lesser talent has been earning less and less. Despite Scherzer setting that record, the median MLB salary has been dropping since 2017.
Therefore, the players seek protections for younger players to be able to earn better salaries.
MLB has been looking to expand the playoffs to 14 teams, something that will bring about much more revenue.
A full rundown of who wants what can be found here, via the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Paul Hoynes.
But at the end of the day: Do fans really care whose side they are on in negotiations?
Will a fan who spent their year's vacation budget and scheduled their meager vacation time to head to Clearwater for Phillies Spring Training say, "At least the players are in the right?"
Will the fan who requested off April 8 for Opening Day months in advance care that the owners attempted to go to a mediator?
Will those who have COVID fatigue and have had a hard time during the pandemic, who are just looking forward to being able to watch baseball each night take solace that one economic issue went one way or the other?
MLB and the MLBPA seemed to take the holiday off - not getting to real negotiations until more than a month after the lockout had taken place. And now they are staring down at the first delayed Spring Training over labor issues since 1995.
That means there have been no trades, no free agent signings, no news about players on a fan's favorite team. Already out of sight and out of mind, fans will not be happy.