Lockout knocks out MLB

As the MLB season draws near, progress in collective bargaining negotiations suffers. In December 2021, the MLB lockout was imposed by owners attempting to solve labor disputes about player salaries, the draft lottery, the competitive balance tax and arbitration eligibility. Throughout the past couple of months, players and managers have met and negotiated, but no concrete progress has been made. Thus, the likelihood of a season delay has increased. Spring training has already been postponed, and unless a deal is reached soon, opening day will be delayed.

Max Scherzer, a pitcher for the New York Mets and a member of the union’s executive subcommittee, said in a tweet, “We want a system where threshold and penalties don’t function as caps, allows younger players to realize more of their market value, makes service time manipulation a thing of the past, and eliminate tanking as a winning strategy.”

Many owners consider these claims to be fair and reasonable, but a deal has yet to be struck. The main issue restricting these discussions is the lack of trust between players and owners. Part of this is due to the owners’ lack of transparency. The Atlanta Braves are the only team that openly shares their earnings and financials while every other team hides their earnings. Ironically, the owners claim that they are the ones getting a raw deal.

“It’s really just a shame,” said junior Jack Glasstetter. “Money has gotten in the way of an excellent sport and led to distrust and frustration for everyone.”

The lockout has not only caused disaster for the MLB itself but the businesses reliant upon its success as well.

“Local businesses surrounding the stadium benefit from tourists who come for the games,” said Delicia Ebare, owner of Charlie’s Family Restaurant, located just outside of the Detroit Tigers spring training stadium. Ebare even cited a 35 percent boost in sales as a result of Spring Training’s announcement. Losing that business drastically hurts her and other owners alike. If the lockout persists, it could even lead to layoffs.

The lockout does not seem to be ending anytime soon and the ramifications for the MLB and surrounding businesses may be catastrophic. One can only hope that the owners and players can come to terms with one another and solve the issue so that everyone can go back to cheering for their favorite teams.