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Baseball-MLB cancels season start due to league and players’ failure to reach a labor agreement

MLB: Minnesota Twins at the Chicago White Sox
PHOTO FILE: June 29, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; The general view of fans watching the baseball game between the Chicago White Sox and the Minnesota Twins in the third inning at the Guaranteed Field. Required credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA Sports TODAY

March 2, 2022

By Rory Carroll

(Reuters) -Major League Baseball (MLB) has canceled the start of the regular season after failing to reach a labor agreement with players by the league’s deadline on Tuesday, Commissioner Rob Manfred said. said.

The 2022 season is scheduled to begin with Opening Day on March 31.

“The schedule dictates that we won’t be able to play the first two series of the regular season and those games are officially cancelled,” Manfred said in a press conference.

Free agent service time, playoff expansion, luxury taxes and wages are among the key issues in the current dispute, prompting the league to lock players in December.

“Our clubs and owners fully understand how important we are to our millions of fans that we have the game on the pitch as soon as possible,” Manfred said.

“For that purpose, we want to bargain and we want to reach an agreement with the Players’ Association as quickly as possible.”

Players Association CEO Tony Clark said it was a sad day for players, fans and the game, calling the lockdown the “ultimate economic weapon” to use against player.

“In a $10 billion industry, owners have made a conscious decision to use this weapon against the greatest asset they have: bridges,” Clark said in a press conference. player.

“But the group will not be threatened. I have seen more solidarity in the last few years than at any point in our recent history,” he said, adding that the team was committed to the negotiating process and getting back on the field as soon as possible. the better.

The federation said throughout the negotiations it sought to promote competition, provide fair wages for young players and maintain the integrity of the market system for talent.

A handful of players criticized Manfred and the owners on social media after he spoke.

TALK BEGINS TO DOWN

The breakdown in talks towards a new collective bargaining agreement came after the sides met for more than 16 hours on Monday and again on Tuesday in Jupiter, Florida in an attempt to avoid a head-to-head showdown. First missed due to labor dispute since the players’ strike 1994-1995.

That shutdown forced an early end of a season, delayed the start of next year’s campaign and turned off fans, with viewership plummeting when the final game was resumed.

MLB had previously said it would cancel games if an agreement was not met by the end of Monday, but the league said enough progress had been made that it decided to push the deadline back to Tuesday.

The players’ union unanimously rejected the MLB’s final offer just before the deadline expired.

Manfred said canceled games will not be refunded and players will not be paid.

“We are prepared to continue negotiations,” he said.

“We have been told that the MLBPA is moving back to New York, meaning no deal is possible until at least Thursday. As such, the camps cannot meaningfully operate until at least 8 March, only 23 days before the scheduled Opening Day.”

The federation said a month of spring training is needed to protect the health and safety of the players.

(Additional reporting by Amy Tennery in New York and Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Chris Reese and Toby Davis)

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