Opening Day Cancelled as MLB Heads for First Work Stoppage Since 1994

After 16 hours of negotiations between Major League Baseball (MLB) and the players union, the two sides failed to reach an agreement on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement on Monday. CBA. As a result, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced that Opening Day 2022 was cancelled along the first two series of the 2022 regular season, a total of 91 games. Several MLB players have publicly voiced their frustration with Manfred and other league executives.

“The calendar dictates that we’re not going to be able to play the first two series of the regular season, and those games are officially canceled,” Manfred said in a press conference. “We’re prepared to continue negotiations. We’ve been informed that the MLBPA is headed back to New York, meaning that no agreement is possible until at least Thursday.”

The two sides met at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida, for nine straight days in an attempt to end the lockout triggered by the league’s owners. MLB initially set a deadline of February 28 to reach a deal in order for the 2022 season to begin March 31 as scheduled, citing the need for four weeks of spring training for players to ramp up. After extending the deadline by a day, MLB made its latest offer to the union just over 90 minutes before Tuesday’s 5 p.m. ET deadline, but it was unanimously rejected by MLBPA leadership. The player’s union cited disparities in key economic issues including Competitive Balance Tax thresholds, minimum salaries and the size of a bonus pool for pre-arbitration players.

The MLB lockout has been ongoing for over 90 days. While the two sides negotiate a CBA, all team and offseason activities have been effectively frozen. Teams have not been allowed to negotiate trades or sign free agents.

After Opening Day was cancelled, several players have publicly voiced their displeasure with the league and Manfred personally, including three-time AL MVP Mike Trout. “I want to play, I love our game, but I know we need to get this CBA right. Instead of bargaining in good faith – MLB locked us out. Instead of negotiating a fair deal – Rob canceled games,” Trout wrote in a tweet. Players stand together for our game, for our fans and for every player who comes after us. We owe it to the next generation.”

Regarding The MLB Lockout: pic.twitter.com/QQUC1pWr5F

— Mike Trout (@MikeTrout) March 2, 2022

Trout — who is near unanimously considered the greatest player of his generation — was not the only MLB athlete to call out Manfred directly. “Manfred gotta go,” wrote Cubs pitcher Marcus Stroman in a tweet.

“It’s mind-blowing these dudes legitimately caused these issues and continue to lie about it,’’ said Houston right-hander Lance McCullers. McCullers went on to list a rundown of grievances the MLB Players Association had with the game’s owners. “Walk out on us in Dallas,’’ McCullers wrote, referring to the brief talks on Dec. 1 which led to the work stoppage that began the next day. “Lock us out. Don’t speak to us for six weeks. Take weeks at a time to respond to our proposals. Clearly don’t care about the fan. It’s exhausting.” McCullers later deleted his Twitter account.

Manfred gotta go.

— Marcus Stroman (@STR0) March 1, 2022

With Opening Day officially cancelled, the MLB is set to begin its first work stoppage since the 1994-95 season. Despite the lack of an agreement on a new CBA then, the 1994 season began on time but was cancelled on August 11 after an agreement had still yet to be reached. The strike briefly carried into the 1995 season, which was shortened by 28 games.

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