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Opening Day 2022 will not be taking place as scheduled and game have been canceled for the first time since 1995.
According to Commissioner Rob Manfred, the first two series of the year have been canceled and will not be made up. Players will not be paid either.
Following nine consecutive days of bargaining between the owners that represent Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players’ Association, no agreement could be reached in time for MLB’s imposed deadline for saving Opening Day.
Manfred addressed the media in Jupiter, FL, shortly after 5pm EST to make the announcement that 15 cities across North America would not be celebrating the return of baseball on March 31.
“We worked hard to avoid an outcome that’s bad for our fans, bad for our players and bad for our clubs,” Manfred said during his 15-minute press conference. “I want to assure our fans that our failure to reach an agreement was not due to a lack of effort by either party.”
The Players’ Association responded in a press release soon after the announcement from the commissioner, pointing out that “from the beginning of these negotiations, players objectives have been consistent to promote competition provide fair compensation for young players and to uphold the integrity of our market system. Against the backdrop of growing revenues and record profits, we are seeking nothing more than a fair agreement.”
Statement from the Major League Baseball Players Association: pic.twitter.com/rmpciPsQm4
— MLBPA Communications (@MLBPA_News) March 1, 2022
MLB imposed a deadline of Monday, Feb 28 as the last possible date an agreement could be struck in time for saving the start of the season on March 31. Both sides worked through the night and met throughout the day on Tuesday.
The best and final offer from MLB was given to the union, but it simply wasn’t equitable for for the players.
With the delegate from the MLBPA heading back to New York, there is no timetable for when negotiations will begin again.
At this point, the first Spring Training game for the Colorado Rockies will take place no earlier than March 12 and the first regular season game will be April 8 at home against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Despite the worst news possible, the commissioner pointed out that certain issues have been agreed upon: elimination of draft pick compensation for top free agents, “the most aggresive” draft lottery sports, as well as an expanded postseason with 12 teams.
However, the core economic issues of the collective bargaining tax, league minimum salary and pre-arbitration pool for young players proved too much for closing the gap between both sides.