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Thursday, December 02, 2021

Report: MLB Owners Vote Unanimously to Institute Lockout

For the first time in over 25 years, Major League Baseball will undergo a work stoppage.

On Wednesday night, the league’s owners reportedly voted unanimously to institute a lockout, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network. The lockout is expected to begin on Thursday at an unknown time, which will mark the first work stoppage for MLB since the 1994-95 players strike that resulted in the cancellation of the 1994 World Series.

The current collective bargaining agreement between the owners and players expires at 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday.

This result was an expected one, with newly signed Mets pitcher and member of the Players Association leadership Max Scherzer saying earlier in the day that a lockout was a “very likely scenario.”

Among the major issues the owners and players do not yet see eye-to-eye on are service time toward free agency, the luxury tax and a possible salary floor, playoff expansion and a litany of rule changes, including a universal designated hitter, pitch clock, maximum number of pitchers on a roster and larger bases to encourage stealing.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 02, 2021 at 12:03 AM | 35 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: labor issues

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: December 02, 2021 at 12:18 AM (#6055766)
Over/under on the proportion of the sports media that will call it a "strike"? 95%?
   2. Brian C Posted: December 02, 2021 at 12:23 AM (#6055768)
More like zero? I don't remember that being an issue during the lockouts in previous sports, and certainly not on that scale.
   3. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: December 02, 2021 at 12:44 AM (#6055773)
I believe larger bases will encourage more stealing just as effectively as the auto-IBB shortened game times.
   4. Jesus Luzardo Maraschino Posted: December 02, 2021 at 12:51 AM (#6055776)
Do the crazy contracts signed by the Texas Rangers seem disingenuous now that Manfred starts spouting contract numbers thus far in the offseason? Plus the Mets...
   5. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 02, 2021 at 01:01 AM (#6055777)
MLB has pulled all content relating to active players from their website and app.
   6. Jack Sommers Posted: December 02, 2021 at 03:29 AM (#6055782)
MLB has pulled all content relating to active players from their website and app.


Wasn't enough to lock out the players, had to lock out the fans too. ;)

Seriously, per Maury Brown tweet :

“In order to comply with federal labor law during the lockout, MLB is making every effort to not use players’ names, images or likenesses for promotional, advertising or other commercial purposes.”
   7. McCoy Posted: December 02, 2021 at 05:57 AM (#6055785)
Buy tickets to MLB games and see beautifully white bases!
   8. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: December 02, 2021 at 06:19 AM (#6055786)
Over/under on the proportion of the sports media that will call it a "strike"? 95%?

More like zero? I don't remember that being an issue during the lockouts in previous sports, and certainly not on that scale.


During football season, the sports media doesn't pay much attention to anything that's not the NFL.
   9. bfan Posted: December 02, 2021 at 07:15 AM (#6055787)
Do the crazy contracts signed by the Texas Rangers seem disingenuous now


What does that mean? The Rangers are planning to pull the contracts and say "never mind" later this winter?
   10. Tony S Posted: December 02, 2021 at 08:05 AM (#6055795)
I believe larger bases will encourage more stealing just as effectively as the auto-IBB shortened game times.


They should just eliminate the home-run trot. Time waster. A player homers, he just jogs back to he dugout.
   11. I Am Not a Number Posted: December 02, 2021 at 08:18 AM (#6055796)
A player homers, he just jogs back to he dugout.

Ke'Bryan Hayes approves this suggestion.
   12. winnipegwhip Posted: December 02, 2021 at 09:17 AM (#6055805)
Wasn't enough to lock out the players, had to lock out the fans too. ;)


I am willing to bet that will not stop them from charging our accounts in February to renew our MLB tv or radio accounts. They will take the money and say they will rebate the portion of unearned revenue later.
   13. Mr Dashwood Posted: December 02, 2021 at 09:58 AM (#6055821)
IANAE, but aren't the owners in a weaker position than they have been for a while? They shrank the minor leagues so it might be more difficult to run out a Scab League that would look decent. The pandemic probably hurt their finances a bit. The administration might be the most pro-labour one since Carter. The players might be in a more militant mood having seen their average salaries fall since 2017. The public, already used to a hiatus from 2020, might just shrug their shoulders and not be too bothered about baseball coming back given NBA and NHL playoffs running into June and NFL starting up in August. (Plus some might turn to MLS.)

If I'm right, if I'm the players, I'd be willing to dig in for the Big One and try to break the owners. Especially if there was a willingness to open a new front of organising the minors.
   14. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 02, 2021 at 10:14 AM (#6055825)
I think reporters are also more pro-labor now than they used to be. In '94 there was a lot of blaming of players from the media (it also matters I think a bit that this is a lockout as opposed to a strike). This time the coverage seems to be overwhelmingly pro-player.
   15. winnipegwhip Posted: December 02, 2021 at 10:25 AM (#6055828)
Another factor unlike other labor disagreements - the number of prop bets that the owners new partners are going to be able to offer will be limited.
   16. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: December 02, 2021 at 10:40 AM (#6055832)
The last time there was a lockout, I was 10 years old. My dad & I had tickets to spring training, which was pretty much cancelled. You have never seen a more bummed out ten-year-old than one who thought he was going to see Orel Hershiser and is instead sitting in his hotel watching Quantum Leap.
   17. Tony S Posted: December 02, 2021 at 10:48 AM (#6055835)
The last time there was a lockout, I was 10 years old. My dad & I had tickets to spring training, which was pretty much cancelled. You have never seen a more bummed out ten-year-old than one who thought he was going to see Orel Hershiser and is instead sitting in his hotel watching Quantum Leap.


Oof. This is a Marlins-level trade-down. Therapy bills for decades.
   18. Jesus Luzardo Maraschino Posted: December 02, 2021 at 11:36 AM (#6055845)
What does that mean? The Rangers are planning to pull the contracts and say "never mind" later this winter?


What I was trying to say was that the owners knew there was a lockout coming and wanted to be able to say look how much money we spent on contracts in the last month, you guys have it so good why not just except our terms.
   19. John Northey Posted: December 02, 2021 at 11:59 AM (#6055849)
Should be interesting to see how long this lasts. I hope not too long but I figure it'll be February or March before things get settled. Looking at a 1995 situation where the season starts late but the vast majority of games are played. A 140 game season or something. Not ideal, but could be worse. Teams that have some fiscal flexibility will be chasing the remaining free agents 10 seconds after it opens up. Various foreign leagues will be knocking at players doors now and guys expected to make under $10 mil a year will be tempted and might go if this looks worse than I expect it to be (IE: losing half a season or more).
   20. John DiFool2 Posted: December 02, 2021 at 02:16 PM (#6055888)
What are the practical effects of a "lockout" in the offseason? Spring training doesn't begin for 2 1/2 more months, so there's currently nobody to "lock out"...
   21. McCoy Posted: December 02, 2021 at 02:25 PM (#6055894)
No signings. No trades.
   22. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 02, 2021 at 02:38 PM (#6055903)
Players can't use facilities or rehab with team medical personnel or trainers. There will be no Rule 5 draft for now. Teams can't do any promotion of players (MLB Network is gonna run "Rookie of the Year" on repeat until this ends).
   23. reech Posted: December 02, 2021 at 02:43 PM (#6055904)
Rob Manfred hates baseball
   24. winnipegwhip Posted: December 02, 2021 at 02:57 PM (#6055906)
#20 and # 22

I have also heard that visa's for foreign players may be invalid while this is going on. (I think Passan wrote that.)
   25. John Northey Posted: December 02, 2021 at 03:02 PM (#6055908)
These things get so silly at times. I'm not a fan of caps but it might be time for Baseball to put in a form of x% of revenue goes to the players via an agreement on what that revenue is (which would be the big battle - measuring the value of, say, the Blue Jays TV revenue when the same company owns the Jays and the stadium and the sports channel and the cable company, plus other stuff that benefits too). But once figured out then saying 40% or 50% goes to ML players should work fine. Owners get their guaranteed profits, players get their money. Increase the minimum salary and benefits (mainly for retired players as most are done before 6 years) and you should have a deal.

Sadly, both sides want to win at all costs, or at least make sure the other side doesn't appear to have won. Which almost always results in a loss for both sides. Sucks for us fans. Really sucks for players who have only a few years in their career.

Smart teams I'm sure set up plans for their players on how to keep working out all winter, or keep rehabbing as the case may be. I know if I ran a team that is what I would've done. Got the players who do the strongest workouts in touch with the ones who want to improve so they can do it together all winter. Set up trainers for mini-groups (with a side promise of a big bonus after or give them one ahead of time). Any team that did all of that would have their players ready to go once the bell rings.
   26. Karl from NY Posted: December 02, 2021 at 03:28 PM (#6055913)
Tthe 1995 strike ended because Sonia Sotomayor ruled that the owners couldn't use scabs. Is that still true?
   27. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 02, 2021 at 03:33 PM (#6055917)
The National Labor Relations Board approved seeking an injunction against the owners, and she upheld that ruling and issued an injunction because the owners had unilaterally imposed their own rules - a salary cap, restricted free agency, etc. without good faith negotiations.
   28. McCoy Posted: December 02, 2021 at 04:30 PM (#6055928)
Baseball labor relations hasn't been at win at all costs or look like you won for decades.
   29. Snowboy Posted: December 02, 2021 at 05:29 PM (#6055945)
Well McCoy the teams just locked out the players, so maybe the sentiment is making a comeback?

MLB Owners Vote Ominously to Institute Lockout could also have worked as the headline.
   30. The Duke Posted: December 02, 2021 at 08:55 PM (#6055978)
I’ve only sporadically kept up on this but from the few things I’ve read it doesn’t seem like the two sides are even talking about the same issues. It’s not like the key issues are one less year of control vs no change. It seems like the players simply want a whole new arrangement in all areas and the owners simply want help in making the cap stronger or no change at all.

Hard to see how it all comes together

One thing I will say is if we are heading back into Covid mandates the owners might as well sit tight - no sense in starting up if the stands are empty again
   31. bookbook Posted: December 02, 2021 at 09:57 PM (#6055988)
The owners want expanded playoffs most of all. And shorter game times (somehow with more ads)

The players want… owners to spend more on players. An end to the QO which dampens the market for some free agents.

The players should want a massive jump in the major league minimum salary, earlier free agency with less game-able service time, better pay for most minor leaguers

The fans should consider boycotting all of the owners business interests as long as the lockout continues
   32. Bret Sabermatrician Posted: December 03, 2021 at 09:01 AM (#6056009)
The Braves won the first World Series after the last work stoppage and the last World Series before the current work stoppage.

So, as a Braves fan, I say more labor strife!
   33. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 03, 2021 at 10:26 AM (#6056018)

I’ve only sporadically kept up on this but from the few things I’ve read it doesn’t seem like the two sides are even talking about the same issues. It’s not like the key issues are one less year of control vs no change. It seems like the players simply want a whole new arrangement in all areas and the owners simply want help in making the cap stronger or no change at all.


I'm not sure I agree with that, but I may be more of an optimist. In '94 things were just entrenched - owners HAD to have a salary cap, players would ABSOLUTELY NOT stand for a salary cap. They weren't even talking the same language. And owners went nuclear by imposing their own rules.

This time around, the two sides already:
-Have reportedly already agreed to increase the luxury tax threshold, its just a matter of how much and what owners will get in return
-Seem to agree the pre-FA rules need to be changed, this is probably the biggest area of disagreement on how to change that
-Seem to agree to change service time rules, and even agree on some change to age 29.5, just a matter on the details being worked out
-Seem to agree to raise the minimum wage, just a difference on how much
-Seem to agree to drop draft pick compensation
-Seem to agree on expanded playoffs
-Seem to agree on a universal DH
-Seem to agree on allowing corporate logos on uniforms

I think they're talking about the same issues and are almost on the same page. But I worry that the personal animosity between the two sides is going to cloud judgment here. Both sides seem really upset at each other.
   34. Jack Sommers Posted: December 06, 2021 at 08:14 AM (#6056352)
I think they're talking about the same issues and are almost on the same page. But I worry that the personal animosity between the two sides is going to cloud judgment here. Both sides seem really upset at each other.


I wonder if total change in leadership on both sides would make things better.

Replace Manfred and Clarke and maybe something gets done sooner ?

   35. dejarouehg Posted: December 06, 2021 at 09:28 AM (#6056360)
The fans should consider boycotting all of the owners business interests as long as the lockout continues


Not sure what impact the lockout is having on the fans - other than the delay in signings - but, as a courtesy, I will cancel my yacht order and sell the share in my thoroughbred at Steinbrenner farms. Will also stop watching YES. (The Nets are unbearably dull anyway.)

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