MLB: Opening Day, full season is officially in serious jeopardy

(Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)
(Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images) /

Another day, another yawn between MLB executives and the players union as they look to strike a deal before a deadline that is now just three days away. As all are aware by now, the league made it perfectly clear that any missed games will not be made up and therefore if the players want to go the route of not being paid at all, by all means, be their guest. Now, the two sides that didn’t bother talking for months (because of the owner-instituted lockout) will need to come to terms in just three days.

For fans, it’s been an incredibly frustrating experience, to say the least. It seems like we just lost more than 100 games because of the pandemic in 2020. Last season, there were widespread attendance limitations until mid-summer and, now, we’re staring down the barrel of yet another irregular season.

Regardless of which side you personally fall on or who you blame the most, the unfortunate reality at this point is it will take a miracle to preserve the 162-game schedule and Opening Day taking place as scheduled.

Throughout this whole debacle, not enough emphasis has been put on the main group that ultimately suffers: the fans. Without fans, there are no profits to gain, no payroll earned for owners to make money and pay its players in the first place. Cubs outfielder and MLBPA rep Ian Happ acknowledged this reality when he spoke with the Sun-Times recently.

"“One of the most disappointing parts of the entire process,” Happ said, “is that we have fan bases that deserve better than what we’ve given them over the last few years.”"

After more talks Thursday, the two sides remain miles apart on their respective stances. They keep inching closer, but unless some dramatic shifts happen in the coming days, there’s no chance of Opening Day happening anywhere close to the end of March.

The idea that both sides would let this thing keep crawling along instead of finding legitimate middle ground and allow themselves to generate nothing financially instead is laughable.  It just doesn’t make “sense.” (pun intended)  Here’s where things sit heading into Friday, with Jeff Passan and Jesse Rogers all over it, as always.

In regards to Passan’s update on the efforts made to avoid tanking, there is much to dissect. Understandably, MLB owners want to say, “Hey, we’re giving you the top four picks turning into a lottery draft every season”, while the players point out that it is simply not enough to entice teams to stay away from playing uncompetitive baseball once they are out of the running and therefore, more needs to be done to ensure this is put to bed.

There is still the dreaded CBT talks and pre-arb player bonus pool revenue to discuss which is a major hill to climb in what has turned into a battle between both sides to get what they want. Until those issues are discussed, let alone agreed upon, a deal will never be struck.

Next. FanGraphs has 2 Cubs in top 100; 3 more close-misses. dark

The fact that it has taken this long to get the “smaller stuff” out of the way serves as a bad omen for what is forming into an inevitability of a shortened season. Last efforts to strike a deal will come over the weekend and into Monday to start the 2022 MLB season on-time.