Earlier tonight, the MLB Players Association rejected MLB’s offer to delay the season by a month, while still playing 154 games (among other sticks and carrots), but the union rejected that offer without a counterproposal. There are some fair points on both sides, but I was hoping for a counter and eventual agreement, if only for a little bit of much-needed harmony between these two sides (plus, I like the universal DH and smaller-expanded postseason, neither of which will be here this season).
Alas, after the union’s response (more here), the league has had enough.
"We are moving forward and instructing out Clubs to report for an on-time start to Spring Training and the Championship Season, subject to reaching an agreement on health and safety protocols." pic.twitter.com/etbuS2viBa
— Jordan McPherson (@J_McPherson1126) February 2, 2021
Maybe this was for the best.
After the prolonged battle in the summer of 2020 and the expected labor stoppage ahead of the next CBA, the last thing the league needed was another couple weeks/months of both sides dragging each other through the mud. With that said, I ABSOLUTELY see a better version of the 2021 season left on the table here without an agreement, one that could’ve meant more money for both sides and more games that could be attended by fans.
Remember us? The fans.
Now, just because the league said it’s all over, the union said they won’t counter doesn’t mean they can’t or won’t, but given how much leverage is at stake here and how much is riding on this next round of CBA negotiations, I’m really not expecting either side to blink.
So what does this mean? Well, it means the “normal” pre-2020 rules hold. There will be no expanded postseason, there will be no universal DH, there will be no runners on second base to start extra innings, there will be no seven-inning double-headers. None of it.
It’s 2019 rules.
That means five playoff teams per league and pitchers and catchers reporting in two weeks (February 17th). And since that’s so soon, the offseason must REALLY accelerate now. Obviously, transactions can still occur after Spring Training begins, but trades are a lot less common after that point.
Opening Day is scheduled for April 1. Yay? Eh. Something feels off.