On Friday, one of MLB fans’ nightmares came to reality: the league suspended the start of spring training because it can’t agree with the Players Association on the conditions, rules, salary, and other implications regarding the 2022 season (and beyond).
They haven’t been able to negotiate the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) for the next four years.
Spring training games were supposed to start on February 26, but now, it has been postponed through March 5.
Teams had already started to sell tickets to the games.
To defend itself, MLB released a somewhat unpopular statement.
MLB’s statement regarding the delay of Spring Training pic.twitter.com/galjrXFRD4
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) February 18, 2022
The league said it “must” postpone games through March 5 “without a collective bargaining agreement in place.”
Regarding the tickets for spring training games wiped out by MLB, the league itself announced in the statement that clubs offer the option of full refunds.
Players Criticized The League’s Statement
Just a few minutes after the league’s decision was made public, the Players Association replied, saying that they didn’t have to postpone spring training, much like they didn’t have to implement the lockout in the first place.
It should be noted that spring training didn’t really have to be suspended, but the league probably feared losing leverage if they allowed a normal spring to take place.
The league’s statement was also heavily criticized because of the rest of its content.
For example, it says that they are “committed to reaching an agreement that is fair for both sides”.
That’s a slap in the players’ faces.
The league at least said both sides will meet every day next week to try and find a deal soon.
The start of the regular season may or may not be delayed, depending on next week’s negotiations.