It was nice, if even for just a moment, to think we might be nearing an end to the months-old MLB lockout. Jon Heyman dropped a report on Sunday morning that turned some heads – and made other people publicly contradict the veteran baseball scribe, including veteran reliever Zack Britton.
Despite meeting every day over the last week and even on Saturday, the two sides – by almost every account – remain miles apart on a deal, especially on key issues like the luxury tax threshold. The MLB-imposed deadline to start the season on-time is Monday, meaning that, barring a miracle, the 2022 regular season will, at the very least, be shortened.
The league has also made it clear that players will not be paid for cancelled games – meaning that owners and players’ wallets alike will get lighter with each passing day without a new agreement. You’d think both sides would understand the impact that losing games will have with fans, but, at least to this point, owners specifically have shown little to no real interest in meeting the MLBPA halfway.
Representatives from the union are meeting with the league again on Sunday, but there are rumors swirling players are close to walking away from negotiations altogether. Let’s hope that doesn’t prove to be the case, because at that point, one can’t help but wonder if we’re looking at a complete loss of a season this year.
At this point, there’s no reason to anticipate any sort of unexpected, right under the wire agreement to come out of talks today. There’s a near-certainty Opening Day will be delayed and the season will be shortened.
So if, like me, you have tickets for the Cubs’ scheduled home opener against St. Louis on March 4, it’s looking pretty safe to assume that, instead, you’ll be at the office kicking off another work week in your 9-to-5. Because there’s next to no chance we’ll have baseball at the Friendly Confines.