By Cole Parkinson
Westwind Weekly News
Spring Training should already be well underway with preseason games, but instead, MLB and the MLB Players Association is still locked in debates for a new CBA.
Monday was the deadline put in place by owners regarding a deal needing to be reached in order for the regular season to begin on time. So, depending on when you’re reading this, the CBA could be agreed upon, but more than likely, no deal has been reached. And it’s truly a shame for MLB fans. It’s hard to pick a side when billionaires are fighting with millionaires, but it’s hard to take the side of owners in any CBA talk with whatever pro league. But, that doesn’t mean players take zero blame either — I just think owners take way more considering they continue to place the blame at the players at every step. While I’m not in the meeting room, it sure looks like this is the owners and MLB’s fault. The fact they had months and months to talk about this and then did nothing is infuriating as a fan of baseball. Sure, they’ve been meeting steadily over the past few weeks, but when you see they met for only 15 minutes in some occasions, how does that lead to any deal being reached? It really doesn’t feel like an agreement is coming any time soon and another shortened MLB season is on the way yet again.
The two sides met for a lengthy meeting on Sunday and Monday, but once again no agreement was reached. Opening Day is set for March 31 and the league has stated they want around four weeks of Spring Training before the season begins so it’s do or die time. Monday saw the two reconvene and sources stated both were ready to stay for as long as it takes, and it looks like the two remain far apart on minimum salaries, competitive balance tax, Super 2 expansion, revenue sharing, an expanded postseason, and a new arbitration bonus pool. What that all boils down to is — you guessed it, money.
Owners keep trying to sell this narrative that owning a team doesn’t make them money, but c’mon how stupid do they think baseball fans are? If there was zero profit in owning an MLB team, teams would struggle to find any owners willing to put money in. Imagine a billionaire complaining about money to an average joe who is struggling to make ends meet? It’s really quite ridiculous. If all MLB players were replaced in the season, the league would suffer. If all owners were replaced would the league suffer?
As of Tuesday afternoon, no deal has been made and it sounds like the “final offer” from MLB has been made, which the players rejected. This hurts the MLB brand and owners and MLB should be ashamed of cancellations of any regular seasongames. Baseball isn’t the most popular sport in either Canada or the U.S. — sure, it’s got plenty of fans, but it’s not the top dog in either country. A labour dispute around large amounts of money is bound to turn some people off. While big baseball fans will be back regardless of what happens, the momentum the sport has been gaining in previous years could experience a cooling off — and could be come ice cold if the season is delayed. Come summer, baseball is really the only thing going on and even casual fans are tuning into games each night. A shortened schedule is good for no one, so let’s hope they figure this out sooner than later.