The MLB lockout has put the entire sport in question.
Spring training was already delayed, and we’re approaching the point where regular season games may be lost in 2022.
Owners implemented a “deadline” of February 28 to get a deal done and avoid the cancellation of regular season games.
That deadline of sorts was not met.
There was a ton of progress last night, however.
So much so that the league chose to push back its “deadline” to 5 p.m. ET today.
There is now a chance that a deal is reached today and that the originally scheduled date for Opening Day will remain intact.
However, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times notes that there wasn’t really any need for a deadline to secure a deal.
The last time MLB and MLBPA settled a lockout, the season started a week late, the season was extended by a week, and all 162 games were played. The owners can say "must start March 31" but nothing requires that.
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) March 1, 2022
A Deadline Was Never Needed
Shaikin is 100 percent correct.
As he stated, the last lockout pushed back Opening Day, but the regular season still lasted 162 games, with another week being tacked onto the end of the schedule.
Even if today’s deadline is missed, that doesn’t mean that the season can’t be 162 games.
Of course, the owners don’t see it that way, and they acted as if the deadline was a hard and fast one when it really wasn’t.
Now with the deadline pushed back, there is a reason to wonder why the owners wanted to have it there in the first place.
It really wasn’t needed, as Shaikin points out, and there certainly is enough time to have a full MLB regular season.
Where Things Stand Now
If a deal is done today, then Opening Day is saved, and the season will begin as originally scheduled on March 31.
The two sides are still aways apart on several key issues, but now, the path to a deal is much clearer.