Major League Baseball Needs to get its Crap Together, and Fast

Cameron Clark, Pawprint Staff Reporter

On December 2, 2021, Major League Baseball imposed a lockout on its players as the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) expired. Here’s what that means: No trades, no free agent signings, and no accessing club facilities. 

Major League Baseball cannot allow this to happen for much longer. Now going on for two weeks, this is starting to remind fans of the sport of the 1994 season where players and owners (the person who funds the team and pays the players) couldn’t agree and forced the season to end early with no playoffs or champion crowned.

Most sports can afford to have this happen. The NFL, NBA, and NHL are all increasing in viewership and have the fan support that would last through a lockout. The MLB can’t allow this to happen. They are losing viewership and fan support. This years’ world series was among the lowest ever in average views at 11.75 million per game, according to Coming off of a Covid year in 2020 where they had to start the season three months later than they were supposed to, fans are fed up with the fighting.

As for myself, I can have this happen and be fine. I’m a diehard baseball fan through and through. As for others, this can’t be a good thing. I recognize that many fans of the sport have been on the fence about leaving because of the pace of play and how long games take with little action. I’ll admit, baseball can be a very dull sport to watch, but it is “America’s National Pastime,” so people still choose to watch America’s sport. However, after the fighting last year and the fighting between the owners and players association now, baseball needs to be prepared to stop fighting or lose more viewers with every passing day.

Trying to take away the blame, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred sent out a letter to fans explaining what was going on.

In it, he said, “This defensive lockout was necessary because the Players Association’s vision for Major League Baseball would threaten the ability of most teams to be competitive,” Manfred wrote. “It’s simply not a viable option. From the beginning, the MLBPA has been unwilling to move from their starting position, compromise, or collaborate on solutions.”

While I haven’t decided who’s to blame for this whole situation, calling out the players like he just did isn’t the right way to go about it. 

Here is what Tony Clark, executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, had to say in response to Manfred. “Contrary to the statement that imposing a lockout would help bring negotiations to a conclusion, players consider it to be unnecessary and provocative.”

Unfortunately, this is the state of Major League Baseball right now. The MLB needs to get their crap together and suck it up. They need to compromise and get a new deal done quickly because if they don’t, nothing good can come out of the continued fighting between players and owners.