There did not have to be a lockout at all, mind you. Major League Baseball’s owners and commissioner Rob Manfred made that arbitrary decision upon the expiration of the previous Collective Bargaining Agreement.
There did not have to be a ‘deadline’ for a deal to be made to keep Opening Day from being cancelled, either. MLB and Manfred arbitrarily decided to do that, too, using it as some kind of godawful tactic in their attempts to squeeze more money from the players and try to stick the blame on them in the war for public opinion.
That deadline, though, was today at 5 PM ET - after it was moved from last night. And as ESPN’s Jeff Passan relayed, there will be no accepting of MLB’s latest offer by the players.
BREAKING: MLBPA player leaders agreed unanimously not to accept MLB's final proposal, and there will be no deal on a new collective-bargaining agreement before MLB's 5 p.m. ET deadline, sources tell ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 1, 2022
MLB has threatened to cancel its March 31 Opening Day without a new deal.
Ownership’s unwillingness to share in the billions in profits and gains they have reaped over the last handful of years will continue to be a primary sticking point. The New York Yankees, for instance, just sported roughly the exact same payroll last season as they did in 2006.
The New York Yankees.
This will undoubtedly prompt Fred Manrob to proclaim the players have butchered all Opening Day plans despite the obvious nature of his concerted effort to keep the most possible money in the pockets of the 30 ownership groups in the game.
This is an embarrassment to both the nature of sport and to the art of negotiation, as the last three months have been a blatant exercise in greed by Major League Baseball.