The Chicago Cubs sent to fans their message about yesterday’s MLB decision to cancel the first two series of the year. Sharing here for the information, and also for some commentary.
The full text:
Major League Baseball has yet to reach a new collective bargaining agreement with the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA).
Since it is important to have four weeks of Spring Training for players to safely prepare for the season, Opening Day of the 2022 MLB season, previously scheduled for March 31, is being delayed. The first two series have been removed from the schedule. Additionally, MLB has notified all clubs that Spring Training would not begin sooner than March 12.
MLB is committed to finding common ground with the MLBPA to reach an agreement that avoids further harm to the 2022 season and strengthens and grows the game we all love. We will continue to provide you with updates as developments occur. In the meantime, please visit www.mlb.com/update.
Thank you for your continued patience and support.
The Chicago Cubs
It’s a short message, but there are a handful of things to note.
The big news bit in there is the notice from MLB that Spring Training can not begin any sooner than March 12 at this point. That’s notable because MLB was previously willing to ink a deal approximately six days before the first Spring Training GAME would have been played.
So, combined with MLB’s position that four weeks of Spring Training are required, we can extrapolate a new “deadline” before more regular season games will be cancelled: approximately March 6, which is this Sunday. Anyone think there’s a realistic shot at a deal by then? I do not.
“Strengthens and grows the game we all love” – it’s a curious but probably necessary inclusion in a message like this, given that MLB’s approach to this negotiation has been absolutely the antithesis of that. After two pandemic-impacted years, and with the entertainment landscape continuing to change, locking out the players and cancelling games over fractional gains for the already-very-wealthy owners is hardly about “strengthening and growing the game we all love.” It’s about only one thing.
“Committed to finding common ground” with the players – again, that’s hardly been evidenced by MLB’s behavior since November, and I frankly do not buy it. We’ll see how much they back it up in the coming days, since it’s pretty obvious that it is MLB’s offer that needs to improve.
Lastly, this is a separate message that was sent to fans who are not even ticket holders at this time, by the way. Those folks got a separate message, with the option of a credit or a refund for the games that were cancelled (in this case, the two against the Cardinals).