The 2021-2022 MLB Lockout: a shot to the heart for players and fans of America’s game


Update- As of March 10, the MLB and MLBPA have agreed on a tentative agreement on a new labor deal. Baseball will resume as normal for the 2022 season. After a 99 day lockout, finally, baseball is back.

The only sound heard in Florida and Arizona right now is the lawnmowers cutting all the unused grass at the spring training facilities. 

The 2021-22 MLB Lockout has been nothing short of dysfunctional on both sides of the spectrum. We all knew this lockout would be a long one when the owners and the players could not come to an agreement before the lockout started in December. With that, talks between both parties have not been great. All in all, the polarizing offers by both have given us evidence that leads us to believe we will have yet another “Mickey Mouse” season. 

After the lockout was put into effect on December 2, both sides did not meet for a while. This was really to get all of the owners’ cards laid out and see where they stand. It was a long waiting period, but at the time, MLB fans weren’t as worried about canceling games yet. After a long 43 days, both sides met yet again for the first time in January. The MLB made an offer, but it was quickly declined by the players. The MLBPA has been clear on a lot of issues they have wanted to be fixed within the league, and the counter-offer made a path to what the players wanted. 

Really, it’s all about the money for the owners in the MLB. With no salary cap rule in baseball, the team with the most money usually has the best team. It’s all about how much money the owners can keep, but with the players, they want fair rights and fair pay. With that proposal in late January by the players, some traction may have been gained; however, the owners would not budge one bit. 

In the early February proposal by the MLB, minimal moves on all facets of the CBA (collective bargaining agreement) were made by the league. It seemed to MLB commissioner Rob Manfred that the new CBA proposal was “great” in the league’s eyes. On the players’ side, they didn’t take the new proposal well at all. The core issues of younger players’ pay, a new draft lottery, and playoff expansion were not in agreement at all, with the players wanting more money and the league wanting less. The situation was turning more and more into a big mess, with spring training games now being canceled and regular-season games in the loom of cancellation.

The league and players turned the meetings to in-person after spring training was supposed to start in mid-February and continued to trade offers and talks from there. There was weeks-long worth of talks right before the deadline to cancel regular-season games. The start of the talks was on February 21 and spaned all the way until February 28. Talks weren’t going that well with both sides trading blows, but progress and momentum was shown on Friday, with the draft lottery situation making significant moves. Saturday seemed like the perfect day to set up the final stakes for the new CBA, but it was anything but that.

The talks between the league and the players on Saturday to start the day seemed great. No details were released until the end of the day, but the long periods of talks between the parties seemed that the situation was going in the right direction. At the end of the day, talks ended with no deal and very bad comments from New York Mets pitcher Max Scherzer. As he came out of the building where the talks took place, he answered some questions while he did some autographs for the fans in Florida. Max said, “Not good,” as a response to how did the talks go. It would be revealed later on that the owners put in little to no effort on the newest CBA they offered to the players. The situation is notable now: the owners do not want to make a deal immediately. Why, you may ask? Here may be some reasons why.

Well, there is really only one reason. When the MLB season opens up, owners usually don’t make as much money to start the season until about one month into the season when the weather gets warmer. So, losing only a couple of bucks to the owners to start the year may not be that bad. To the owners, it is all a money game, but to the players, it is an equality game, pushing player pay and more excitement into the game of baseball.

Now, do we need to be worried about the regular season at all?

Yes. I don’t think that the MLB will want to miss more than two months of the season at the maximum. I do see these talks going on for at least another week, and that would be a huge surprise, to say the least. Neither side will give in to what they want, and it’s just a battle of tug-of-war at this point.

The game of baseball has changed drastically, do not get me wrong on that one, but the constant barrage from the league and the owners really make the game seem like a money grab. Let’s go back to the old days when we played the game because we loved it. I know we need to pay the players a good amount of money because of the toll they put on their bodies to play the sport. It’s just a matter of caring more about the money or the game, and right now, a lot of baseball fans and players want to see teams take the field on Opening Day, March 31. 

Now, I want to write a message to Rob Manfred—the most polarizing human in the game right now. 

Rob, let’s play baseball. Let’s not make this game a money grab for you and your close peers up in the MLB front offices. This game means a lot more to the people of this country and people around the world. Your arrogant comments about the World Series, how you handled the Astros cheating scandal, and your injury-prone, redundant rules are nothing short of crap. Let’s play ball, Rob, and let’s have some fun playing the game we once loved.