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Elephant Rumblings: Disaster comes to pass as MLB cancels early season games

MLB news roundup

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Syndication: Palm Beach Daily News
Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred,center, walks after negotiations with the players association in an attempt to reach an agreement to salvage March 31 openers and a 162-game season, Monday, Feb. 28, 2022, at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Fla.

Happy Wednesday, Athletics Nation?

“I see missing games as a disastrous outcome for this industry, and we’re committed to making an agreement in an effort to avoid that.”

That’s what Rob Manfred said in February, as urgency was heating up to reach a new Collective Bargaining Agreement in time to ensure a full 2022 season. But yesterday, that disastrous outcome became an inevitability when the players rejected the league’s latest proposal, prompting the league to cancel each MLB team’s first two series of the scheduled regular season.

Per Evan Drellich of The Athletic, the league projected optimism in the wake of a marathon of Monday meetings, and extended their self-imposed February 28 deadline until 5 p.m. ET on Tuesday. But a league official accused the players of changing to a “decidedly different tone” before the MLB made its final offer, which the players rejected. A union source disputed the league’s characterization of the players’ disposition.

Per Anthony Franco of MLB Trade Rumors, MLBPA leadership indicated they were willing to continue negotiations today, but Manfred suggested at a press conference that bargaining would resume on Thursday at the earliest. Both camps are expected to depart Jupiter, Florida, the site of this most recent string of talks.

With early season series against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Detroit Tigers now officially canceled, the Oakland A’s will play, at most, 155 regular season games in 2022. That new best-case-scenario still depends on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement being reached, but the league and union are still far apart on key issues. Theoretically, the league could lift the lockout they imposed and resume activities under the previous CBA until a new agreement is made, but that seems about as likely as traveling back in time to avert this stoppage in the first place.

It might be a good time to start a “how many games” office pool.

A’s Coverage:

MLB News & Interest:

Best of Twitter:

Despite the cancelled MLB games, there are still beautiful days to be had at the ballpark.

But forget the Bay Bridge exhibition game.

March is #WomensHistoryMonth!

I’ve talked about the challenges MiLB players face, but there are a lot of other workers in the industry to consider, too.

Wait—MLB has a bot army?

Fitting? Fitting.

Meanwhile, the Oakland City Council takes another small step on the proposed Howard Terminal ballpark.