Tuesday, March 1, 2022
Copyrighted by Sarah Morris, 2022
Opening Day of the 2022 baseball regular season was officially cancelled. The owners and the Players’ Association could not agree a new collective bargaining agreement. No one knows when the baseball season will start.
Unlike many fans’ beliefs, there are not any poor owners. Most baseball owners want to maximize their profits, so they do not want to pay the majority of players decently. When the owners locked out the players on December 2nd, the owners and the Players’ Association had plenty of time to get a workable collective bargaining agreement. However, both sides procrastinated until February 21st before they met regularly.
The Players’ Association want its younger players to be paid fairly before they are eligible either arbitration or free agency. It does not want to have a luxury tax to act as a payroll cap. It does not want teams trying to lose so that they can rebuild cheaply to win a world championship. Also, it does not want to expand the playoffs so much that it will water down the 162-game regular season. When the typical baseball fan thinks about it, he must side with the Players’ Association, particularly when most Major Leaguers do not have careers lasting longer than five years.
The owners, who run Major League Baseball and choose the commissioner Rob Manfred, want to maintain the status quo. They did agree to a draft lottery aimed to discourage “tanking.” They adopted the universal DH; therefore, fans do not have a bathroom break when a pitcher, who has no business hitting, strikes out. They want to expand the playoffs to fourteen teams since the playoffs receive highest TV ratings and teams can raise ticket prices. However, the owners do not seem to realize fans, even the most casual baseball fan, do not want to watch poor performing teams appearing in the playoffs. A few fans want to watch the Pittsburgh Pirates, perennial losers.
Since 2019, Major League Baseball is losing in popularity, and this work stoppage will kill more excitement about the sport. Now, people have many options for their limited entertainment hours. Going to a baseball game is out of reach for most Americans. Only a few avid baseball fans understand modern analytics. The great implementation of the shift has killed the hit-and-run and run-and-hit plays. They also limit the possibility of seeing a fantastic defensive plays. Only a few players attempt to steal a base. Now, a fan usually sees a batter to strike out, walk, or blast a home run, and this is boring to even the most avid fan.
I have devoted my adult life becoming the best baseball writer I could be. This work stoppage saddens me, but I am proud of the Players’ Association standing up to the owners for its core values. While baseball is a huge part of my life, I have found other things to occupy my time, but I miss Dodger baseball. I should be pondering the Dodger starting rotation and not be drafting a novel. I hope this labor dispute will end soon. Whenever baseball returns, I will start writing about the Dodgers, but I understand most casual fans will not return. Baseball needs to develop a plan to court these fans.
Tuesday, March 1, 2022