Logic indicated that if MLB and the Players Association were unable to come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) by February 18, with the first spring training games scheduled for February 26, those exhibition games were likely to be cancelled.
That’s what happened on Friday: MLB officially announced that all spring training games through March 5 will not be played.
Major League Baseball has postponed spring training games through March 5. Which was obvious, of course, but it's now official as the league prepares to start meeting with the MLB Players Association on Monday as collective-bargaining negotiations finally start to ramp up.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 18, 2022
There is just not enough time for players to prepare for games, even if they are of the exhibition variety, in eight days, especially considering that there is no agreement yet.
The league decided to be conservative and push the start of the spring a few days, focusing their efforts to at least come close to a deal next week.
The reactions started to quickly flow on Twitter.
And I wanted to go to spring training this year 😭 https://t.co/7XF7ZqSq5x
— Manny ⚾️ (@ismanny_95) February 18, 2022
The league showed “regret” (yes, regret) about suspending the first few games.
MLB: “We regret that, without a collective bargaining agreement in place, we must postpone the start of Spring Training games until no earlier than Saturday, March 5. All 30 Clubs are unified in their strong desire to bring players back to the field and fans back to the stands.”
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 18, 2022
Fans React To The News
A portion of fans are surely hoping that there are some good news to report next week, when owners and players will actually meet (there will be several of each side) for a series of bargaining sessions that could take place every day starting Monday.
Others, however, are still very mad about the fact that the two parties seem to take forever to engage into a simple conversation.
Why wait until Monday to start? Do they really have something more important to do? Where have they been this week? What's up this weekend As a life-long baseball fan who has been counting down the days to spring training, I'm disgusted by their displays of greed and nonchalance.
— Lettergirl (@lettergirl2020) February 18, 2022
Others are being sarcastic to show their disdain for the way negotiations have been handled to this point.
lol that it takes the official start of Spring Training coming and going for "urgency to be felt."
— Adam Taylor McKillop (@atmsportsbank) February 18, 2022
Fans, obviously, are the ones missing the most with the lockout, besides players, of course.
Many had made plans to attend spring training, or just watch the first exhibition games.
Here's an example of what we'll miss with #SpringTraining officially postponed.
— Billy Krumb (@ClubhouseCancer) February 18, 2022
The worst feeling of all is that there is no guarantee that games beyond March 5 aren’t postponed.
In fact, the likelihood of that happening is quite high, actually.
Let’s just hope that’s not the case and there is an agreement soon.