Despite the end of the MLB lockout and the agreement of a new CBA, one that de-incentivizes teams from tanking much less, the tanking problem has clearly not gone away.
It likely won’t go away anytime soon.
We’ve seen the Cincinnati Reds do a ton of that over the past few months.
After an 83-win season that would have gotten them to the postseason had the format been expanded to 12 teams like it is now, the Reds threw in the towel and got rid of several big names on their roster, including Jesse Winker, Tucker Barnhart, and Eugenio Suarez.
ESPN’s Buster Olney points out a problem in the game today on Twitter, stating that people around the league lose their minds if players bunt in games that are already out of reach, but seem to look the other way when teams tank.
Bunts in one-sided game: The horror.
Teams tanking multiple years of 162-game seasons: The industry looks the other way.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) April 13, 2022
Tanking Is Still A Problem
Olney is spot on.
People view bunting in games that are one-sided as breaking one of the “unwritten rules” of baseball, which as time goes by, people care less and less about.
However, nobody seems to care too much about teams throwing away seasons by giving up some of their best players in hopes of getting back some prospects in return.
This is one of the main things the Players Association was trying to address during the lockout: owners tanking and throwing away multiple seasons where they could have been trying to contend and doing things to improve their roster.
Even with the new CBA, nobody seems to care about teams and their tanking strategies.
But when it comes to breaking the “unwritten rules” of baseball, that’s a huge problem and is something that people feel is more important than teams openly not trying to win.