Posted on: March 4, 2022 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

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Major League Baseball is experiencing some of its greatest turmoil since the steroid era.

A fight between owners and players to work out a new labor deal has led to a work stoppage, the first since 1994, when the conflict ultimately led to the cancellation of the season.

This situation includes more of the same with at least the first week of the upcoming year being taken off the schedule and no plans for a season just yet.

Looking at the situation and the leverage the owners have compared to the players, the question becomes: Which side will buckle first? The billionaires or the millionaires?

Joey Fernandez

Sports Editor

The negotiations began with the MLB players association coming to the team owners board with a list of demands for a new contract. That included things such as a solution to younger players to enter free agency earlier, a bonus pool for superstar young players to receive performance incentives, and a minimum salary floor to force smaller market teams to spend slightly more money.

League ownership was expecting these demands and countered with small concessions as well as a list of its own requests. One of the owners’ negotiating pieces includes an expanded 12-14 team playoff format.

Many current players are making a brave sacrifice of money and time spent on their own careers. After the conclusion of the lockout, the landscape of baseball will be changed forever. Whether or not the “casual” fan will be there to see it is a question that both sides will have to answer very soon.

While changes to the game such as an increase in minimum players salary would be beneficial to the players, a hit in revenue because the game has lost some popularity will only cause the owners–who have all of the leverage–to become more stingy when the next Collective Bargaining Agreement expires.

With the billionaire owners refusing to completely give in to the demands of the players, I believe the MLBPA has to weigh the options and realize the risk of revenue/salary loss due to the season not being started on time.

While there is the argument of the owners also losing money–more than the players, actually–most of the players are barely millionaires or not at all, so they need the money much more than the average MLB owner, whose net worth is $3.2 billion.

Unfair or not, fans are beginning to blame the players for the season not starting on time. And with baseball falling far behind other sports, such as the NBA and NFL, in popularity, the sport cannot afford to lose any popularity without severe complications.

Where the league stands currently is uncertain; talk of scheduling meetings or potential negotiations occurs every day. But with no end in sight, the cancellation of games becomes more detrimental to the game by the day.