I said it earlier this afternoon, and I’m sticking to it: although any continued talks are good, there is no reason to think that a new Collective Bargaining Agreement will come together this week. That, alone, will mean that Spring Training is going to at a minimum get a little mucked up. The ever-moving target of hope now is: can there be enough progress this week to let a normal Opening Day remain a realistic hope?
Like last week, reps for the players and the owners will meet to negotiate:
Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association plan to meet Tuesday for the next round of collective-bargaining talks, sources tell ESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 1, 2022
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) February 1, 2022
Through two sessions last week – the first of the lockout, which started two months ago – the sides made the most modest of progress, but remain reeeeally far off from each other on the most important issues. And they haven’t even really negotiated the luxury tax yet, which figures to be the most contentious item of all!
I hate how little progress was actually made over the past week, so if the sides (mostly the owners) don’t come to the table tomorrow having made significant, meaningful moves since the last session, I don’t know why you wouldn’t start expecting an impact to Opening Day. The timeline just doesn’t work if there isn’t a deal within the next few weeks, and if the sides don’t get DRAMATICALLY closer this week, I don’t really see how it happens (especially if they keep doing this “weekly meeting, barely move” stuff).
I guess I won’t go full DOOM mode until we see what comes tomorrow, but I’m tapped out on optimism. I’ve mentioned it before, but seeing how much fun the NFL players have been has really drilled home for me just how painful this lockout is to be following as a fan, and just how harmful it would be to have Opening Day impacted.