Commissioner Rob Manfred and the gaggle of MLB’s oligarchical team owners put lock and key to the players almost three full months ago. They claimed it was necessary, which it wasn’t. They then waited nearly 45 days before coming back with anything close to a ‘proposal’ for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, even though it was a bad-faith wad of garbage.
Then, they went out of their way to create an arbitrary deadline for talks to come to an agreement before they would begin to officially postpone Opening Day and begin carving off regular season games - the games for which players actually get game checks - from the schedule. That deadline is today.
This entire CBA negotiation could have taken place under a memorandum of understanding, one that kept the offseason going under semi-normal circumstances while negotiations continued - but Manfred and Co. refused that option. Keep in mind that MLB never even proposed a new CBA before locking the players out on December 1st, let alone a reasonable proposal, before Manfred deemed it ‘defensive’ in a letter rife with bullshit sent to the very fans he’s screwing over. Now, as owners continue to refuse any increase in overall player compensation as revenues continue to skyrocket, they’ve imposed an arbitrary deadline - today - that, if not settled, will see players have their overall salaries for 2022 reduced because the total number of regular season games will be fewer than the typical 162.
It’s almost like this is what Manfred and the owners had in mind all along, especially as they push for a postseason expansion so egregious it would serve to render the regular season nearly unimportant altogether. (If nearly half of all teams make the postseason, the postseason continues to be a crapshoot given how little starting pitchers can pitch, and the trade deadline is still some 100 games into a season, what’s the incentive to spend big to begin seasons, anyway?)
As both sides resume talks today, the focus will again be on the Luxury Tax level, how to increase the financial incentives for younger players, and how not to ruin the regular season by expanding the playoffs beyond the absurd. That’s on top of adjusting the penalties on the books for operating under the previous CBA, with draft pick compensation and tanking penalties now needed to be re-legislated.
That’s a lot of heavy lifting to accomplish just today, Deadline Day. Otherwise, you might as well start cancelling your hotel plans for Opening Day, let alone the plane tickets and game tickets in which you invested previously, too.
Speaking of which, if you were previously an MLB.tv subscriber and had auto-renew baked into your subscription, it’s quite literally going to renew in the next 24 hours, so go ahead and cancel that before Manfred gets any more of your guaranteed money. You can always pick it back up down the road once that archfiend loosens his grip on the sport we all love.