MLB Opening Day 2022 has been canceled after labor negotiations collapse.
After getting baseball fans’ hopes up with late-night meetings on Monday, Major League Baseball did exactly what realistic folks expected them to do all along.
They made a terrible “final” proposal to the Players’ Union, which the player leaders unanimously rejected. As Jeff Passan reported less than an hour before MLB’s 5 PM deadline, there will be no deal.
As such, MLB Opening Day no longer has a date on the calendar. According to Rob Manfred, the first two series of the season have been canceled.
And he says more cancelations could be coming.
It is a dark day for baseball and all who love it. Beyond the fact that MLB threatened to cancel Opening Day without a new Collective Bargaining Agreement in place by their deadline, the last three months of lockout have done what feels like irreparable damage. Players are publicly furious, fans are miserable, the media is starved for news, and the relationship between the league and players seems fractured beyond repair. The only people sitting pretty are the ones who created this mess in the first place; the billionaire owners.
MLB Opening Day was supposed to be March 31
Opening Day is the day baseball fans wait for all winter long, through 4 p.m darkness and for most of the country, frigid temperatures. The return of baseball is synonymous with the return of spring and summer, sunshine, and the feeling that anything is possible, as a brand-new season of unplayed games lay before us, rife with hope and the magic that comes from unexpected moments.
Instead, for the second time in three years, fans will be fed the crumbs of a shortened season. However, unlike 2020, when the global pandemic forced sports’ hand, this is a disaster of MLB’s own creation.
There never needed to be a lockout.
The league didn’t need to wait 40+ days to contact the union after locking the players out.
Billionaires who have gotten richer as players have made less money across the board could have easily made concessions.
Instead, they have taken an ax to the Norman Rockwell painting that is baseball, because while they are wealthy enough to own what we love, they do not love it the way we do. In fact, it’s clearer now more than ever that they do not love it at all.
Baseball team owners are not the product, the players are. Without them, there are no billion-dollar tv deals or lucrative corporate sponsorships. For the normal people on the outside looking in, it seems unfathomable that the owners are willing to destroy their own money-making machine to break the people who make it possible, but it’s what we’ve been witnessing for months.
Everything the league’s side has done throughout this lockout has been calculated to sway public opinion against the owners. They have focused on all the wrong things, because why focus on making actual baseball happen when you don’t care about it, to begin with?
It is a dark day for all who love baseball.