It’s the first time in 26 years that baseball has had a work stoppage. The last time was 1994 when the players had a strike and the World Series that season was not played.
The two sides met briefly on Wednesday, but made no progress. This time around, most MLB insiders expect that the two sides will come to a swift agreement and that this is just a process that has to happen.
The owners believe that a work stoppage is the only way to jumpstart negotiations.
Baseball has never been financially healthier with gross revenues over $10 billion.
Issues That Have To Be Resolved
1. The owners basically want things to stay the same and add expanded playoffs.
2. The players are looking for the right to get to free agency quicker, maybe four years instead of the current six. Plus, the players want a universal designed hitter in both leagues.
3. There are other issues, but those are the biggest on the table. MLB commissioner
Rob Manfred issued a letter to fans on Thursday morning via MLB.com. Here’s a part of it:
“I first want to thank you for your continued support of the great game of baseball. This past season, we were reminded of how the national pastime can bring us together and restore our hope despite the difficult challenges of a global pandemic.
As we began to emerge from one of the darkest periods in our history, our ballparks were filled with fans; the games were filled with excitement; and millions of families felt the joy of watching baseball together.
“That is why I am so disappointed about the situation in which our game finds itself today.
Despite the league’s best efforts to make a deal with the Players Association, we were unable to extend our 26-year history of labor peace and come to an agreement with the MLBPA before the current CBA expired.
Therefore, we have been forced to commence a lockout of Major League players, effective at 12:01am ET on December 2.
“I want to explain how we got here and why we have to take this action today. Simply put, we believe that an offseason lockout is the best mechanism to protect the 2022 season. We hope the lockout will jumpstart negotiations and get us an agreement that will allow the start of the season on time.”
4th Lockout In MLB History
In the history of baseball, there have been three previous lockouts. And in those, no games were missed in the regular season.
The last two were in 1990 and 1985.
The best possible scenario is that the two sides get down to business and figure out a way to slice this pice without turning off the fan base.
If an agreement can be reached by February, pitcher and catchers can report by the 15th in time for spring training.
On Friday, the Houston Astros signed Baker, 72, to a new one-year contract. Financial terms were not released by the club. Quite frankly, Baker has been a huge success since taking over the cheating-scandal Astros before the 2020 season.
Baker – who brought credibility back to the franchise and a respected voice for the players – managed the Astros to the World Series this season, losing in six games to the Atlanta Braves.
In 2020, the COVID19-shortened season, Baker got the Astros to the American League Championship Series. Houston lost to the Tampa Bay Rays in seven games.
“He’s done a great job this last year,” Astros owner Jim Crane told the media. “Great in the locker room, great with the fans, great with the media.
For sure, Baker had hoped he would be coming back with a World Series trophy under his belt. But his second trip to the Fall Classic as a manager ended the same way as in 2002 when his San Francisco Giants lost to the Anaheim Angels.
Nonetheless, Baker separated himself from many other managers by becoming the first manager to win a division with five different teams.
“Looking forward to being part of this organization and this city,” Baker told the media at his announcement. “I have some tremendous ties here and have some unfinished business to take care of. But we’re close. We’re getting better and better every year.”
Coming into the 2022 season, Baker ranks 12th all-time with 1,987 career wins and could move all the way up to ninth with just 54 victories.
When he does that, Baker will pass some big time names in the managerial game: Bruce Bochy (2,003), Leo Durocher (2,008) and Walter Alston (2,040).
This MLB winter will be business as usual, with some high-profile free agents hitting the market and looking for major bags.
There is one wrinkle, as the expiration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement could be an impediment to the free flow of what is being called “the deepest and most talented free agent classes in years.”
Two MLBbros are among the Top 20-rated available free agents are NY Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman and Toronto Blue Jays second baseman
Marcus Semien (Middle Infielder)
Semien was discarded and doubted by the Oakland A’s and proceeded to come to Toronto on a “show me” deal, bang 45 homers and set a new record for home runs by a second baseman in a single season. Semien’s .265/.334/.538 (133 OPS+) line and a Wins Above Replacement of more than seven has set him up for a major pay day.
Without Semien’s ferocious bat to complement Vlad Guerrero Jr., Toronto would never have jumped back into the bloodthirsty American League East race.
Semien, an extremely capable shortstop, also won the AL Gold Glove at second base, putting his rare versatility on display for the free agent market. Semien will get some major offers. A middle infielder with his power and versatility is a must have for any team with World Series aspirations. Reports say the Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers are interested in him.
Marcus Stroman (Starting Pitcher)
The Stro Show was lit at Citifield this season. Stroman’s pitching kept the Mets’ season relevant as the team plummeted from contention, lost ace Jacob Degrom and fielded an enemic offense.
Stroman keeps fans updated on his free agent possibilities via social media. The 30-year-old, Long Island native, says he’s getting attention from fan bases that he never would have imagined would be pursuing him.
Cardinals fans flooding my mentions. I see y’all. Appreciate all the love!
Stroman was consistent all season and used a masterful execution of various pitches to end up as the Mets surprise workhorse, delivering 179 innings with a 3.02 ERA, a 133 ERA+, a career-best 21.7 percent strikeout rate and a 6 percent walk rate — his best since his rookie year.
Stroman has to be looking for a contract in the $100M range. He credits his conditioning and intellect with being the difference between him and other harder-throwing free agent starters on the market.
I’ll outlast and be healthier than all the high velocity guys. Also, once they start fatiguing and their velocity dips…will they be as effective? Doubtful. My game will never rely on velocity for outs. My repertoire is elite and everything moves all over the place! 🗣🙌🏾 https://t.co/Vg6fgVaNkL
Dusty Baker is in the final World Series stretch of his 11th postseason. He’s Top 5 dead or alive in most all-time MLB managerial categories. Here’s a few things you might not know about the 72-year-old baseball lifer.
With a raucous southside crowd ready to erupt when the game appeared to be in jeopardy, Dusty Baker’s relievers finally rewarded their manager’s confidence with a lights out performance in what proved to be the finale of the ALDS.
The Astros shutout the White Sox over the last five innings as the offense relentlessly pounded on anyone who toed the rubber wearing black and white. A quintet of relievers held Chicago scoreless down the stretch to preserve the victory.
Baker’s magic in the division series continued as the Houston Astros returned to the American League for the fifth consecutive season.
The Fabulous Baker boys sent the Chicago White Sox home for the winter with a 10-1 victory as they get set to face the Boston Red Sox for the right to advance to the 2021 World Series.
Left fielder Michael Brantley, an MLB bro in his own right, drove in two runs in this series clinching victory.
His RBI singles in the sixth and eighth innings were two blows that led them to pop the corks on the champagne bottles before heading to the next round.
Earlier this game, Michael Brantley extended his #Postseason hitting streak to 15 games.
This marks Houston’s second consecutive trip to ALCS under Baker’s ageless magic that continues to resonate with the millennial clubhouse the baby boomer manager oversees.
Baker replaced A.J. Hinch, who is now manager of the Detroit Tigers after he was fired in the fallout from the Astros’ 2017 sign-stealing scandal.
It also resulted in a one-year ban for Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora who will be in the other dugout when the series opens on Friday.
Baker’s cool was tested after there had been accusations made the Astros were back to stealing signs and tipping off players which they had previously done to win the only world championship in franchise history.
Chicago reliever Ryan Tepera floated a notion Sunday night that Houston was stealing signs in the first two games.
However, he deftly navigated through that potential controversy with a little push back of his own.
“We’ve been constantly bombarded by negatives, especially on the road,” Baker said. “But these guys, they come to play and they love each other.”
After Gavin Sheets went deep to center field for a home run that put the White Sox on top in the bottom of the second inning it appeared that the momentum of the series had shifted altogether.
In an era where the analytics may have suggested otherwise, Baker made the right call to pull Lance McCullers, Jr. who made only one mistake to Sheets that yielded Chicago’s final run of the season.
Rob Parker reminisces on the time when Deion Sanders was making an impact on the MLB playoffs — slapping hits in the gap and swiping bases — and locking down receivers and running back TDs on an NFL field. Prime was truly something special.