Keeping Up With The MLB

Since December 2, 2021, Major League Baseball has been locked out. The collective bargaining agreement (CBA), the negotiated accord that governs almost every aspect of the working relationship between MLB players and team owners, expired. 

Less than two hours prior to that Dec. 2 deadline, owners voted unanimously to force a work stoppage. They did so in the form of a lockout. For the first time since the lockout began, MLB and the MLB Players Association held bargaining sessions on back-to-back days on Jan. 24 and 25. 

The two sides met for roughly two hours on Jan. 25, during which the union countered the proposal MLB submitted two weeks ago. Despite both sides finally meeting on back-to-back days which qualifies as progress, the two sides are still very far apart on several key issues. 

When the lockout hit, all headshots of players on any of the 30 websites that the league operates were removed. Players joked about the league’s action by changing their profile pictures to one of the blank headshots. (Taken from EssentiallySports)

The following week, on Feb. 4, both sides met once again. Senior writer of The Athletic, Evan Drellich tweeted about the negotiation session. 

“Today’s [Feb. 1] 90-minute meeting between MLB, MLBPA was heated. Some owners and players participated. The MLBPA made moves in two areas: service-time manipulation, and pre-arb bonus pool (dropped request from $105 million to $100 million). TBD when next core economics meeting will be.” 

Another meeting with little progress made makes the possibility of a delayed start to Spring Training more likely.

During this lockout, no signings or trades at the Major League level have been able to be processed. There has also been zero communication allowed between MLB staff and players, and all headshots of players on any of the 30 websites that the league operates have been removed.

This marks the first MLB work stoppage in over 25 years, the last being the 1994-95 Major League Baseball strike where 938 games, and the entire 1994 postseason, including the MLB World Series, were canceled.

The recent negotiations between the MLB have given baseball fans hope, but many should still be prepared for a possible  Spring Training delay or even a delayed Regular Season. 

“Big Papi” David Ortiz celebrates after getting the call from Cooperstown regarding his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Ortiz was the lone inductee in 2022, with big names like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens being left off. (Taken from @MLB on Instagram)

Despite the league being locked down, the 2022 National Baseball Hall of Fame announced their newest inductees. With a loaded ballot, many looked forward to seeing the results. 

On Jan. 26, Boston Red Sox great David Ortiz was alerted of his election into the Hall of Fame. Many expected this induction but names like Barry Bonds, the all-time home run leader, and Roger Clemens, the holder of the most Cy Young Awards, once again did not receive the nod. Sammy Sosa and Alex Rodriquez also only received a small percentage of the votes. 

These four baseball legends all had one thing in common, steroids. Despite the MLB making it clear that the use of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) are not allowed, at the time that Bonds and Clemens began using PEDs, the MLB wasn’t as strict as they are now. 

Baseball fans have questioned which players actually deserve a spot in the Hall of Fame, as some of the greats of the sport have been left off. Bonds and Clemens join Pete Rose, the all-time hits leader, in a group of players that left major impacts on baseball but do not have their plaque hung up in Cooperstown.