MLB

MLB has canceled Opening Day

For the first time since the players association struck in August, 1994, there will be MLB games canceled. MLB announced that Opening Day will be canceled following the failure of CBA talks in the lead-up to its self imposed deadline of Feb. 28th. The two sides met for over 16 hours on Monday, and it seemed like there was real movement on the CBA. But the players (rightfully so) rejected the league’s final CBA offer on Tuedsay which included a complete and utter joke of a CBT proposal.

Commissioner Rob Manfred will address the media at 5 PM. Update 2:33 PM – the first two series have officially been canceled.

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This move came after the league took on a more threatening tone in the last weekend before the deadline. Once it became clear that the MLBPA was not going to bend to the league’s will in this negotiation (like they did in 2016), the league went in for the kill and that was to threaten game day checks. Despite the pressure and the loss of their pay, the players have held strong on the higher priority issues for the association while also giving concessions on the issues that aren’t as important; this included ditching their proposal for a payroll minimum, which means MLB is the only of the big four North American sports not have one.

According to The Athletic’s Evan Drellich, the owners are willing to eat a month’s worth of games in order to get the deal they want.

This was followed-up by a tweet from Yankees starter Jameson Taillon that demonstrated the union believes MLB can still make profits and earn TV money even with a set number of games canceled.

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At the root of the problem is the fact that the owners have dug their heals in on these negotiations. After they initiated the lockout on Dec. 2nd, it took them 43 days to submit a counter proposal to the union. And then whenever the union gave some ground on its issues, the owners made a grab for even more concessions — like the ability for commissioner Rob Manfred to implement changes unilaterally 45 days after he informs the union.

The onus at this point is on the owners to make concessions towards the players. And if they won’t it’s up to the members of the MLBPA to hold strong.

As for the game’s stars, Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper jokingly asked the Yomirui Giants if they were looking for a player since he’s got time to kill with games getting canceled.

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