Posted on / by avilramon / in Uncategorized


From the Press Box

by: Amaury Pi-González

Major League Baseball and the Players Union have to renegotiate a new CBA agreement. The current one expires December 1 and if by December 2 there is no agreement, it is expected the owners will lock out the players. So here we go again in the never ending saga of players and owners relationships like the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s, like Cats and Dogs, like Democrats and Republicans. This time key issues include arbitration rules, the luxury tax threshold, the minimum contract and a team salary floor. Negotiations seem to be headed in the wrong direction.

If there is no new agreement by this December 2nd, there will be a freeze on:
1-All transactions/trades
2-Above includes all free agent signings
3-Depending how long, potential cancellation of games and even the whole season.
4-No Winter Meetings in Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, scheduled for this Dec 5-9.

What is the CBA:  A collective bargaining agreement (CBA) is a written legal contract between an employer and a union representing the employees. The CBA is the result of an extensive negotiation process between the parties regarding topics such as wages, hours, and terms and conditions of employment. The CBA has covered a period of 5 years. The current agreement was ratified in December 2016, so they have to work on a new one.

The first CBA was from 1968 to 1969. This was the first Collective Bargaining Agreement in all professional sports. Marvin Miller (recently inducted into MLB Hall of Fame) was the pioneer heading the Players Association. It was not easy but Mr. Miller was a very skillful negotiator and understood the economy of the game, the structure, and that the players needed representation.MLB was the first professional league in the country with such arrangement between players and owners.

Before the first game of the 2021 World Series Commissioner Robert Manfred was in attendance and spoke about the CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement)that is to be re-negotiated next month and could affect the 2022 season.

Report: MLB, MLBPA begin negotiations over new CBA
Robert Manfred, MLB Commissioner

It’s hard to characterize progress,” Manfred said. “Progress is you go in the room, you’re having conversations, and people are continuing to talk. It doesn’t move in any measurable way that I’ve ever figured out, and I’ve done it a long time. The most important point is I know our clubs are 100 percent committed to the idea that they want an agreement by Dec. 1.

The last time baseball had a labor stoppage was the 1994-95 strike. That wiped out one-third of the season and the entire postseason (including the World Series) shortened the season to 144 games.  It took a few years after that, apathy among fans when baseball started to come back in 1998. Do you remember the Mark McGwire vs. Sammy Sosa home run race? Yes, that was 1998. That two-player brought back the interest for the Boys of Summer among the millions of aficionados that follow the game. Next came 2002, when the game came close to a strike, but a deal was reached August 30 and the full season was completed including the World Series. That 2002 World Series where the Angels beat the Giants in seven games.

To put all of this in simple language, the main issue here is about economic issues, plainly m o n e y. It is like any other business because although we call it a game, it is a big business in the billions of dollars. And of course, owners want more, players want more, some owners will like to limit the cost so they can increase their financial gains. There is a lot of money in this business, like many would say “it is a battle between millionaires vs. billionaires”, something most of us never have to worry about.

Labor problems are not the only issue facing the game, this is what Whitey Herzog the second-oldest Hall of Famer living together with Willie Mays (both 90 years young) recently said “The state of the game in baseball is about as bad as I’ve ever seen it,” Herzog began. “It’s all strikeouts and home runs and a high number of pitches.”

“And too many four-hour games,” he said, “especially during the postseason.” And then, the Commissioner (Rob Manfred), who’s never worn a jockstrap, has all these rules … and the way every manager is using his bullpen now … out of 54 outs every night, you’ve got about 22 strikeouts between the two teams and 10 walks. So you’ve got 32 guys every night that doesn’t hit the baseball,” said Herzog

History: Lockouts, strikes, work stoppages in these seasons: 1972, 1973, 1976, 1980, 1981, 1985, 1990 and 1994. About: Pension dispute, salary cap, salary arbitration. Free agency, free agency compensation. We can rejoice that baseball has experienced 27 years of Peace, from 1994 to 2021. Can we keep this peace or are they headed to war again?

If no agreement is reached by December 2, 2021, M.L.B could enact a lockout to freeze transactions. Spring training is to begin in February, with the 2022 regular season scheduled to start on March 31. Nobody really know what will happen, it could last until early February when all 30 teams report to Spring Training, that is just my take on this, there is way too much money involved to cancel the season “suicide”. Your opinion as a fan is as good as anybody’s.

Let’s hope for the best, but these things are unpredictable. May I be the first to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, and a Happy New Year.

Leave a Reply

Previous Next
Test Caption
Test Description goes like this