After raising hopes that a deal to end the MLB lockout was near, the owners have backtracked and tried to blame the players for an alleged tone change.
Momentum looked like it was on the side of an on-time 2022 MLB season on Monday night as the players and owners continued negotiations to end the lockout.
Instead, Tuesday brought more confusion and disappointment.
With the self-imposed deadline to agree on a new collective bargaining agreement coming up on Tuesday evening, the owners emerged from meetings blaming the players for changing their tone on a deal.
The players immediately hit back.
Alex Wood claims MLB owners lied to media about lockout negotiations
“FWIW MLB has pumped to the media last night & today that there’s momentum toward a deal. Now saying the players tone has changed. So if a deal isn’t done today it’s our fault. This isn’t a coincidence. We’ve had the same tone all along. We just want a fair deal/to play ball,” Alex Wood of the Giants tweeted.
The idea of a “tone change” emerged on Tuesday afternoon as the deadline to get a deal done without impacting Opening Day approached.
“We thought that there was a path to a deal last night and that both sides were closing on in on the major issues. They couldn’t make us a CBT proposal last night so we agreed to extend the deadline to exhaust every option,” Evan Drellich quoted an MLB official on Twitter.
“The MLBPA has a decidedly different tone today and made proposals inconsistent with the prior discussions. We will be making our best offer before the 5 p.m. deadline for the MLBPA that’s a fair deal for players and clubs,” the official also said.
The players union immediately tried to counter that narrative by saying their differences in negotiating on Monday night and Tuesday remained unchanged.
Whether it was hopefully thinking by the owners that the MLBPA would cave to their demands or a ploy to make the players look bad, the lockout negotiations don’t appear to be going places right now.