It’s the weekend, Athletics Nation!
As of today we were supposed to be one week out from Spring Training 2022. The stage was set for every MLB team to field a group of players ranging from last year’s draft class to longtime veterans of the game. But those plans were made back in August, four months before the league voted to lock out players on December 2.
As I’m sure you know, the lockout has been slow. In the 80 days since the CBA expired, the two sides have met only five times. The last few meetings have lasted less than a half hour each, as the MLB owners and MLBPA have both been reticent to make major concessions to the other side.
On Wednesday, we missed what is usually the first milestone of the baseball season, pitchers and catchers reporting to training camps. Instead of videos featuring blue Arizona skies and the sound of fastballs clapping into catcher’s mitts, we got a bunch of sad tweets about how we were missing that very thing. Yesterday, the MLB came out with a statement that the lockout was officially postponing Spring Training up to the first week of scheduled games, with March 5 deemed as the new earliest starting date.
However, that sad news came paired with encouraging reports that lockout bargaining will continue with a suddenly new expedited pace next week. The next negotiation session is scheduled for Monday, and apparently the MLB is ready for subsequent sessions each day following. While Spring Training was a floating possibility which was said to be required to be at least four weeks in length, the MLB had set a deadline of February 28 to sign a new agreement before Opening Day on March 31.
The nine days left to hit that date are worryingly short, but at least by this time next week we will have a definite idea of whether we will begin the regular season as scheduled. If there’s a busy bunch of days spent bargaining and lots of progress made, we may be moving on to the flurry of preseason transactions and trades. But, if the trends of the lockdown hold, we may be looking at a similar article as this come late March.
At least Division I college baseball starts this weekend.
- Hall: A’s Stadium News: Oakland City Council certifies EIR for Howard Terminal
- More coverage of the successful EIR vote from: Ravini at SF Chronicle ($), Dierberger at NBC Sports Bay Area, Berman at The Athletic ($), Adams at MLB Trade Rumors, Snyder at CBS Sports, Gallegos at mlb.com
MLB News & Interest
- Adams: Spring Training Games Postponed Until At Least March 5
- Passan and Rogers: What the first week of spring training games being cancelled means for season
- McDaniel: 2022 MLB farm system rankings for all 30 teams
- MLB’s FAQ on CBA negotiations
- Gammons: Teams are valuing catchers more than ever, and when they can’t find them, they're making them ($)
- Shusterman: Storylines, MLB Draft Prospects To Watch In 2022 College Baseball
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter
The MLBPA’s response to the Spring Training delay
Statement from the Major League Baseball Players Association: pic.twitter.com/iboIiZqr0O— MLBPA Communications (@MLBPA_News) February 18, 2022
The Cactus League’s statement on the Spring Training delay
The start of the 2022 Cactus League season has been delayed.— The Cactus League (@cactusleagueaz) February 18, 2022
Official Statement: pic.twitter.com/BvjtL7dDCP
A chat with Dave Kaval regarding Thursday’s successful EIR vote (whole video linked later in thread)
Props to anyone who watched along with the Council hearing
Oakland city council: "We will now open the meeting to public comment"— Hal the Hot Dog Economist (@AsHotDog) February 18, 2022
Looking back at Dwayne Murphy for Black History Month