Why was the MLB 2022 season delayed?


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Major League Baseball (MLB) has recently announced that the season will be postponed by a week, moving opening day from March 31 to April 7. While this currently might not seem like much, it will have serious implications on the upcoming 2022 season. The Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) was arguing with the team owners, as well as Robert Manfred, the commissioner of the MLB, over some rules that the MLBPA demanded to be changed.

According to the MLBPA’s twitter account, the conflict was over Manfred, as well as MLB owners not setting fair standards for players. The MLBPA wanted “to promote competition, provide fair compensation for young players, and to uphold the integrity of our market system.” The MLBPA also felt that these standards were not being properly upheld by the team owners and Manfred, forcing the delay of the opening day of the 2022 season. The players essentially felt they were being underpaid. More specifically, the MLBPA was fighting to alter the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The reasoning behind the MLBPA not agreeing with the offers made is due to minimal changes being made towards these grievances that they urged the owners to preserve; whereas more and more profit is being made by the MLB as a whole. The MLBPA wanted what was best for its players, while Manfred is identifying this situation as a “defensive lockout.” These changes, while having serious consequences, were necessary in order for the players to be successful and content with the MLB.

This two-week delay messes up a few parts of the MLB season. All the teams across the MLB will have an extra week of spring training. Spring training is beneficial for helping players earn roster spots, especially the newer players, while allowing more experienced players to warm up for the new season. In spring training, teams play and practice against other teams. While some players may prefer having this extra week of practice and training time, other players may not be a fan of this change because it is not what they are accustomed to. However, because there is an extra week of spring training, many matches and double headers have been postponed or modified to accommodate the one-week late start.

According to a poll by Morning Consult on the cause of the MLB season being delayed, 45% of MLB fans believe the blame is on team owners, whilst 34% had no opinion or did not know and 21% blamed the players of the league. Thus, a plurality of fans believe that the blame is on the owners of the teams for not following the demands of the players. Unfortunately, this is not the first time a strike or stoppage of the MLB season has occurred. In 1994-1995, the longest stoppage of the MLB season occurred, lasting 232 days over labor issues. Everytime one of these lockdowns happens, not only are the MLB players and staff affected, but TV companies, stadium workers and many more people as well. Many different organizations and many different people are affected by a delay of the season, which is why it is so important to get these issues resolved in time for the season to continue as scheduled.