MLB cancels opening day, season’s first games
MLB has cancelled the 2022 season’s opening day and its first few games after negotiations to finalize a new collective bargaining agreement collapsed.
Baseball fans have to wait a little longer for the 2022 MLB season to begin. League commissioner Rob Manfred has announced that opening day has been cancelled, as well as the first games of the regular season.
“I had hoped against hope that I would not have to have this particular press conference in which I am going to cancel some regular season games,” Manfred said. His announcement comes on the 90th day of an owner-imposed lockout of players and after nine consecutive days of negotiations with the MLB Players Association failed to end in a deal.
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Less games for the season
The first two scheduled series have been cancelled, which could signal the first time since 1995 that regular season games have not been held due to a labor disagreement.
The 2022 season is likely to be cut from 162 to 156 games at most. Players will not be paid for the games that are called off.
Players reject owners' offer
The Major League Baseball Players Association unanimously rejected the final proposal which the owners offered before the deadline set by the league to ensure that the season would start as scheduled.
The owners’ offer contained provisions that were way off the demands made by the players, and the union saw no point in making a counter offer after the deal was described as the “best and final” offer. Manfred claimed that the agreement they have offered "has huge benefits for fans and players."
“Players and fans around the world who love baseball are disgusted, but sadly not surprised,” said the MLB Players Association of the cancellation in a statement.
“From the beginning of these negotiations, Players’ objectives have been consistent- to promote competition, provide fair compensation for young Players, and to uphold the integrity of our market system.”
“What Rob Manfred characterized as a “defensive lockout” is, in fact, the culmination of a decades-long attempt by owner to break our Player fraternity,” according to the union’s statement.
Players have described the deadlines set by owners as a tactic to pressure them into accepting an agreement that would be harmful to the union’s interests.