MLB Player Lockout Begins


Photo via Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

On Wednesday night, the collective bargaining agreement officially expired. This deal, in essence, is an agreement between the MLB owners and the MLB Players Association on how the players will be treated as employees. This lockdown comes after the MLB and the players association couldn’t come to an agreement before the deadline. Just minutes after the deadline for this agreement, the MLB owners announced that there was a lockout of all players. This lockout prevents players from using any MLB sanctioned facilities, workers (such as physical trainers, coaches, etc.), and prevents trading or signings from happening. A lockout hasn’t happened in 26 years, when the Players Association began a strike on August 12th, 1994.

The strike in 1994 was a result of financial and ethical issues from the players and the players association. This issue was met with controversy from the MLB owners and the rest of the season and playoffs were cancelled. This was the first time in over 90 years that a World Series was not played in a year.

While this player lockout is happening during the offseason and is not nearly as severe, there is still tension between the players and the MLB owners and commissioner, Rob Manfred. The tension comes from the close-mindedness from the MLB owners, whether it be ignoring the opinions and ideas of players, or valuing money over the development of baseball in youth players. Along with these issues, the MLB owners refuse to compromise with the players association. The executive director of the MLBPA, Tony Clark, told the press, “We remain committed to negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement that enhances competition, improves the product for our fans, and advances the rights and benefits of our membership”.

The fans tend to side with the players because the players are who the fans want to see. The amount of time this lockout will take to end is hard to predict, however most believe it will be sooner than later, and that this is just an ultimatum being enforced by the MLB to get what they want. Hopefully this lockout leads to proggressive conversations for beneficial change at the highest level of America’s pastime. People want the players to be taken care of and healthy, and even if it’s not for the right reasons, the MLB owners should want that too.