Why is the MLB on lockout? When was the last time they had one?
The last MLB lockout was in 1994-95. Today, the league is 3-months into their owner-imposed lockout. What's the CBA about and why is the MLB on lockout?
Simply put, an MLB lockout is when team owners, or the management side of the league, initiate a stoppage that holds the sport on all fronts until a CBA is agreed to.
The CBA, or the collective bargaining agreement, is basically an agreement between MLB players and team owners that sets all the conditions between those parties, from the base, standards, and travel protocols, to salaries, roster sizes, and free agency dates.
Why is there an MLB lockout in the 2022 season?
And because the most important part of this agreement is money-related, players and clubs don’t always see eye-to-eye with team owners on revenue-sharing details. That explains why the MLB is currently on lockout. And while a normal CBA lasts for about five seasons, this has been changing over the years with the interest in money-related business, like broadcasting partners and sponsors constantly increasing.
In Dec. of 2021, after the CBA expired, MLB team owners decided to impose a stoppage on their players until they reach a new agreement. Three months later, and after the Players Association unanimously rejected the final proposal made by the owners on March 1st, commissioner Rob Manfred and the other owners decided to cancel regular season games.
Why are MLB owners canceling regular season games?
In a nutshell, this is a way for MLB owners like Manfred, whose job is to do the bidding for team owners, to impose their wills on players and get what they want- or as MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said, “to pressure Players into accepting an unfair deal.”
The MLBPA, standing by the players, said in a statement last week what elegantly confirmed that the owners’ decision to impose a lockout was simply due to their egos and greed. "This shutdown is a dramatic measure, regardless of the timing. It is not required by law or for any other reason. It was the owners' choice, plain and simple, specifically calculated to pressure Players into relinquishing rights and benefits, and abandoning good faith bargaining proposals that will benefit not just Players, but the game and industry as a whole."
And while players are frustrated by this decision, they did not fall short of thinking of others also affected by the lockout, like the thousands of workers depending on MLB as a means of employment.
On Friday, the MLBPA announced that its players are launching a $1 million fund to support all the workers hurt by the lockout.
When was the last time MLB had a lockout?
This lockout marks the fourth one since MLB and the union had their first SBA negotiations in the 1960s. In 1973, the first owner lockout happened, but regular season games were not affected. Only three seasons later, another one followed with no games affected as well. Then came the 1990 lockout, where spring training was heavily negotiated and the start of the regular season was pushed back.
This lockout marks the first time the MLB has canceled regular season games.