Nine weeks and counting. That’s a lot of time for this sport to be shut down. It sucks. Here’s the latest …
⇒ Chelsea Janes wrote up the state of things following yesterday’s brief, heated, and barely-moving-the-needle negotiating session, and the visual is a nod to what Cubs fans are about to lose at least a chunk of:
The league and union met again Monday. They don’t agree on much. And we can all agree that spring training probably won’t start on time because of it. https://t.co/O76wzf4yMD
— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) February 2, 2022
“The result, two weeks before pitchers and catchers are set to report, is a growing sense that the sides remain too far apart and are moving too slowly to expect an agreement in time for spring training to begin on time. A deal may have to come this week for that to happen, given that MLB would need time to lift the lockout, restart free agency and the normal offseason machinations and give teams time to pull together rosters.”
⇒ It’s just a matter of time before the announcement about a delay of Spring Training comes down. My guess is it will come next week after the owners meet (that was a previously-scheduled set of meetings, at which they’ll hopefully discuss the CBA, but couldn’t necessarily negotiate with the players at that time, which Janes suggests could delay things even further). In more great news, although the sides are scheduled to meet today … it’s about non-economic topics (scheduling, international play, All-Star Game, that kind of stuff). There is nothing scheduled to discuss core economics, on which the sides remain miles apart.
⇒ The hope is that the owners will come back with a new counterproposal on at least some economic issues later this week, though. Some movement would be better than nothing, but the sides are currently taking two steps per week while trying to finish a marathon. At some point you have to at least start jogging.
⇒ Realistic super-dream-case scenario in the near-term? Let’s say the owners make a meaningful move in their proposals on, say, Friday. Then the players come back with a response early next week, in which they also make a meaningful move. Then you have the owners meetings next week for them to get some more owners on board with various specifics, and maybe the sides can then get into hunker-down-and-bang-out-the-final-numbers mode the following week (starts February 14). Note that Spring Training would still be pushed back at least a bit, even in this dream scenario. Also note that this dream scenario is extremely unlikely.
⇒ At least the Cubs are still sending their stuff to Arizona, albeit without the typical video hype and fanfare:
The Cubs equipment is heading to Mesa. pic.twitter.com/j3kxJMGqqR
— OBVIOUS SHIRTS® (@obvious_shirts) February 2, 2022