Time Ticking Towards Possible Lockout


At one minute to midnight on December 1st, the collective bargaining agreement between MLB and the players association expires. That could very possibly be the moment that baseball locks out the players, until a new agreement is reached. 

And the comments of MLB commissioner Rob Manfred seem to indicate that it's a near certainty this will happen. In fact, he even tries to make it sound like a lockout at this time is a good thing

I can’t believe there’s a single fan in the world who doesn’t understand that an offseason lockout that moves the process forward is different than a labor dispute that costs games,” said Manfred. 

Translation: "We're locking them out now during the offseason, there's no games being lost. So don't worry about it." Manfred's mantra is to "avoid doing damage to the season," specifically pointing to the 1994 player's strike that cost baseball the World Series, and permanently damaged the game's brand. 

Manfred, in fact, insists that a lockout could move the bargaining agreement talks forward. The league has sent some preliminary proposals to the union, which, as expected, haven't gone over too well. 

MLB can ill-afford to miss any games in the 2022 season, as it (like every other sport) is still recovering from missing a whack of games, and otherwise empty stadiums when games were played, in the 2020 season due to the pandemic.

Manfred insists his record in keeping the game on the field has been spotless, saying "I've been in charge of labor in this industry since 1998. Every single time, I have found a way, we have found a way, to make an agreement and keep the game on the field... We've had very, very difficult situations in the past. We've found our way through them. We've got great people. I think we're gonna find our way through this one, too."

Tick, tick, tick...

Photo Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports