Major League Baseball, also known as the MLB, has been a league for so long that it has been named “America’s Pastime.” People may think that a league with such a long history would not have any issues. Wrong. This year, players are upset, owners won’t budge, and the commissioner fails to pick a side and won’t say his feelings about the situation. All of this has caused what is called a “lockout.”
According to The New York Times, a lockout is “a type of work stoppage used by the owners of a business during a labor dispute.” The MLB isn’t the only league that has lockouts though. In total 4 leagues have lockouts and they are the NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA.
There are many reasons why the MLB is in a lockout. Two of the main reasons are that players feel like they should get paid more and younger players, who are cheaper, are having their service time manipulated.
MLB stars are getting paid really well, actually, in the last off-season some players were setting record-breaking contracts. It is the players feel like the owners aren’t struggling to pay players as much as they have been complaining about. The New York Times it says, “Many teams are receiving tens of millions in revenue sharing from their counterparts yet purposefully aren’t competing for playoff spots.”
Now, this also brings in another argument that owners don’t care about winning games and being good. Not doing well on purpose allows them to make more money without having to pay players because your team purposely doesn’t have anyone of that caliber to get paid the big bucks. This ties back with young players getting manipulated.
Many teams find any way to keep players for cheap for the longest time possible. One example is Kris Bryant, a free agent third baseman that will get paid a lot of money. When he was starting his career with the Chicago Cubs he played the whole spring training with them which basically meant he was on the team. Now the Cubs sent him down for the first game of the regular season and called him back up on purpose because technically he didn’t play a whole season which meant they had him for an additional year for the same amount of pay that was in his contract. That is what owners and teams do to keep younger players. Kris Bryant is being used because he is such a big name in the MLB.
The last time the MLB had a lockout was in 1994, but the thing that is different about that lockout and the one that is currently going was that 1994 one ended the season early. There was no World Series that year. The season was ultimately canceled on August 12 after players went on strike. This lockout was the longest of any league, they were locked out for 232 days. The reason why there was a lockout in 1994 was that the league was playing in an expiring CBA and the players went on strike made the commissioner put the league into a lockout. What is saddening is that fans couldn’t watch a post-season game or even a World Series.
Earlier this month commissioner Rob Manfred announced that he will at least cancel the first two series of the 2022 series. The reason why the first two series are canceled is that both sides couldn’t come to an agreement on their deadline date if they wanted to partake in a full season. Now as they keep negotiating and having conversations there could be a chance that we don’t have a full 162 game season. If they were to cancel another week they wouldn’t be able to fit the canceled games into the team’s schedule. Teams lose money in revenue for not having a full season and players don’t get paid since they aren’t playing and fans are getting frustrated because they want to be able to watch games being played. With all the controversy going on in the league, people are becoming doubtful of a full 162 game season. No matter what way you look at it, Major League Baseball is just not in a good position to succeed.