Spring Training Is Delayed

Monday, February 14, 2022
Copyrighted by Sarah Morris, 2022

Spring training was supposed to begin tomorrow, but it will be delayed until the lockout ends. The owners constituted the lockout on December 2nd to agree on a new collective bargaining agreement without missing any regular season games. Both sides are still far apart. Missing regular season games seems likely. The owners have agreed on using the designated hitter in both leagues and expanding the playoffs to fourteen teams.

Most baseball fans do not understand the labor dispute between the owners and the Players’ Association. Looking from the outside, the labor dispute appears to be a battle between billionaires and millionaires. When most Americans are struggling to put food on the table, they do not care about this labor dispute.

The problem is the Players’ Association wants the younger players to be paid satisfactorily and stop teams tanking so that they can build for a world championship inexpensively. The owners want to keep the status quo. The Players’ Association’s view of the future of Major League Baseball is healthier for the competitive balance.

Since the lockout began, the sides have met only a handful of times. This will not get a workable compromise. The owners wanted to have an independent mediator, but the Players’ Association deemed that idea unnecessary. The sides must meet multiple times a week exchanging ideas and not a 130-page proposal.

Before the abbreviated 2020 season, having the DH in the National League was abhorrent to me, but now, I like the DH. It does not lessen the strategy of the game and prevents injuries. Having DH enables teams to rest their offensive stars while still having their offensive production in the lineup. Managers do not hesitate to take the pitcher out because he is due to hit the next inning. Having the DH does not lessen double switches if teams have sufficient depth.

I do not like expanding the playoffs. Of course, the playoffs generate incredible excitement among fans, but the players are exhausted after playing 162 games. Having fourteen out of thirty Major League teams make the importance of the regular season record less than it ought to be. Playing under stress will cause more injuries to players. If the owners want to expand the playoffs, they need to decrease the regular season games from 162 to 154.

I do not see the 2022 season beginning before May. Missing games is criminal since I feel both sides could agree on a new CBA without a work stoppage. Having a work stoppage destroys the interest in baseball.

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