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MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred Seems to Be Priming Folks for a Lockout

Chicago Cubs

The owners meetings just wrapped and MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred met with the media. Although he touched on a variety of things, one comment stands out like a frigid thumb.

Tell me there’s going to be a lockout without telling me there’s going to be a lockout:

When you’re already trying to soften folks to the idea that a “lockout” doesn’t really mean anything bad, then you are absolutely planning on a lockout.

Now, maybe even that comment is designed as a cudgel against the players – “Hey, just FYI, we’re gonna lock you out if there’s no deal by December 1” – but it doesn’t really matter, because we all know it’s true. This has always been the plan, and always been where this thing was going. And the idea that a lockout, even if resolved before games were lost, would have zero impact on fan sentiment for the season ahead is myopic at best.

Officially, Manfred said no lockout is planned and the focus is on getting a deal done by December 1. But the pump is clearly being primed, so you can pretty much now expect a stoppage of some length. The only real question is whether things get done before February, to avoid possible impact to Spring Training (and give teams/players a reasonable chance to finish offseason transactions in a non-frenzied way).

Your DREAM scenario is that the sides get somewhat close by the end of this month, and then the lockout forces them to a conclusion that arrives by mid-December. Shy of that, which seems pretty unlikely knowing how these two sides like to really draw things out, you’re going to have them stepping back for the holidays anyway, and not re-engaging until January.

My realistic hope now is a deal by late January, I suppose. That sucks. In the meantime, we might see an even further push to get more deals done by the end of this month.



Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.