The Lockout Continues

Monday, February 7, 2022
Copyrighted by Sarah Morris, 2022

Spring training for the Los Angeles Dodgers should begin eight days from now, but because of the Major League Baseball lockout, spring training will not begin on time. No one knows when the baseball season will begin.

Although there had been no games missed when the owners have orchestrated a lockout to settle a labor dispute, this labor dispute is different from the past. Before the abbreviated 2020 season, the owners and the Players’ Association had hard feelings. The Players’ Association wanted a longer regular season than sixty games, but the owners did not while they complained about how much money they were losing.

The main issue of the current labor dispute is when the players are going to be paid. After reading the headlines about a certain baseball player signs a humongous contract, most casual baseball fans believe all Major Leaguers are multi-millionaires, and this is false. Before players can go to arbitration, teams can pay whatever they decide. Before a player can become a free agent, he does not have a say where he plays, and they are not rich. Many players never last long enough in the Major Leagues to become free agents.

Under the just expired collective bargaining agreement, many teams have tried to lose as many games as they could so that they could get high draft picks. For the competitive balance of our national pastime, tanking teams must be stopped. Commissioner Rob Manfred could have ended this practice, but he, hired by the owners, did not.

Manfred began this ridiculous lockout on December 2nd in hopes of not delaying the regular season, but the sides did not meet until early January. They have not met many times yet; therefore, nothing has resolved. This past week the owners requested a mediator to settle the dispute, and the players refused to accept this, citing there was no need.

Personally, I side with the Players’ Association. Over the last years, I have lost my respect for Manfred. He is a lousy commissioner. He thinks about only profits and not preserving the lore of baseball. He wants to be all powerful, but he is weak. After his poor handling of the Houston Astros’ cheating scandal during the 2017 World Series, including calling the Commissioner Trophy “a piece of metal,” not many baseball fans have any respect for Manfred.

Manfred believed the Players’ Association would bow to the owners’ demands. This was nonsense. For the health of the sport, both sides need a workable collective bargaining agreement.

When it is February, my brain turns to baseball. Because of this lockout, I have nothing to ponder, except rumors. I am angry with Manfred who wants to be powerful but is weak, self-centered, and probably has ADD. Both sides must meet for long hours to get a good compromise. There is no need for a mediator, not yet anyway, since the sides have not met long enough to know what they want.

I want a full spring training and an exciting 162-game season in front of full-stadium cheering crowds. With an abbreviated spring training, many players will sustain major injuries. This affects the competitive balance of the Major Leagues.

Without baseball, I am watching the 2022 Winter Olympics and continuing to learn about World War II in hopes of writing several novels about the important period in history. However, I miss the Dodgers. I have devoted my entire adult life to becoming the best Dodger writer I can be. I hope by March that I will hear, “It’s time for Dodger baseball!”

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