“How many games will be played in the 2022 MLB season?” is a question floating around the sports world as of late.
The MLB lockout has tested fans’ patience enough already, and the players and owners don’t seem to be getting very far, even with multiple meetings scheduled for this week in Jupiter, Florida.
Where Things Stand
For the 162-game season to be saved, a deal needs to come by Monday, which is a date the owners set as a deadline for a new CBA to be put in place and for the season to go as originally planned.
Evan Drellich of The Athletic reported that it’s unlikely that these minor incremental moves will be enough for the 2022 season to start on time, and that more progress will need to be made in order to avoid the season being delayed.
Could the regular season start late, but still include 162 games? If the sides agreed to play seven-inning doubleheaders on some days, then theoretically, they could buy themselves more time to reach a deal. https://t.co/29X6zhsE1J
— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) February 23, 2022
But it’s anyone’s guess as to when the season will actually start.
The hope is that if the two sides meet more frequently, a deal will be reached sooner rather than later, and baseball can resume its offseason.
Though not much progress has been made to this point, this week’s negotiations have somewhat trended in the right direction.
Last week’s final negotiating session lasted all of 15 minutes.
Now, at the very least, the two sides seem to understand that urgency is needed in order to get something done fast and end lockout before games are impacted.
Theoretically, if the lockout ends on March 3, then it’s very likely that that will be enough time to squeeze in spring training and have the 2022 regular season begin as originally scheduled, as noted by Jeff Passan.
For everyone who’s saying “why not sooner?”: One of the things that’s struck me for months now is a majority of industry people believe a deal could come together very quickly and that things will accelerate at end of February. Monday may not be ideal but offers plenty of time.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 18, 2022
But that becomes harder and harder as the lockout rages on, and the two sides continue to be at each other’s throats.
Losing games would be the worst-case scenario, and that appears to be more likely as the owners and players continue to war with one another.
The game took a huge hit in 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic shut down the entire sports world, and unsuccessful negotiations to return to play made things even worse and caused the 2020 regular season to be slimmed down to 60 games.
Having limitations on in-person attendance also didn’t help.
And the longer the lockout drags on, the more games will be lost, and the more baseball will be negatively impacted for years to come.
How Many Games Will Be Played?
Again, there’s no telling when this will all be over.
It’s hard to determine how many games will be played, or how many games will be cancelled as a result of the lockout.
But if the two sides continue to meet daily and the meetings last longer, then there is a clearer path to a new deal.
It seems unlikely that this will all be resolved by next Monday, but if the owners and players keep up their trend of meeting each day, then things will improve, slowly but surely.
It would likely take about another two weeks or so to hammer out a deal if incremental moves are made in each session, which would put us at around March 15.
If the lockout ends on that day, then it’s likely that Opening Day will be delayed for two weeks, and the season would start at around April 15.
If they jump right into that point of the schedule, that will leave us with roughly 150-154 games, with the possibility of games being tacked on after October 2, which is the originally scheduled day for Game 162.
Ultimately, we just have to wait and see what happens.
There’s still time before the deadline, but the clock is ticking away.