MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced this afternoon that he is cancelling the first two series of the MLB season. This is a result of the owners and the MLBPA not agreeing to a new CBA prior to MLB's 4pm deadline. This will be the first time since 1994-1995 where games will not be played due to a work stopage.
This comes a day after both sides were meeting for 16+ hours in negotiations where many were optimistic a deal was going to get done. MLB and MLBPA were meeting everyday at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, FL this past week. In his press conference, Manfred said, "we didn't reach a deal but not for a lack of effort." This couldn't be further from the truth. The owners locked out the players beginning on December 2, 2021 and then did not meet with MLBPA for over a month. Their first offer came 43 days after the lockout started. That right there shows a lack of effort.
Manfred was asked during the presser why they waited to bargain until the last few days of their imposed deadline rather than the last 3 months. All Manfred did was "correct" the question to say the past 10 days and ignored the part of the question asking about the 3 months. "It takes two parties to make an agreement." While true, but it also helps when you make an offer worth agreeing to. He claims to care about us fans, but yet he cancels the first week of the season.
Thursday is the earliest an agreement will be made. At this point, I don't see that happening. The MLBPA came out with a statement saying that the players will remain strong and are looking for nothing more than a fair agreement. To those that have argued that this is a billionaire vs millionaire issue, please stop. Sure the players are playing a game we love and used to play, but just like how you may be an accountant, a construction worker, a teacher, etc, being a baseball player is their job. Just because they make more money than the "Average Joe", doesn't mean they shouldn't fight for what they are worth. Younger players are becoming more valuable than ever. MLBPA isn't fighting for just themselves, they're fighting for the players currently in the minors, in college, in high school, and for those that are just starting to swing a bat because they were in those shoes too.
When this all started, I was hopeful it wouldn't come to the cancellation of games. Now that the first week has been cancelled, I'm thinking those won't be the only games cancelled. If you're a hopeful one, you may not want to see what Former Cardinal Andrew Miller said about this. He has been one of the players front and center in negotiations. Today, in the MLBPA's response, he said, "players are prepared to not play...We've seen this coming in a sense. It's unfortunate, but this isn't new to us. This isn't shocking." After hearing that, I would be surprised if we see any baseball in the month of April.
So how does this directly affect the St. Louis Cardinals? This will mean they will miss 3 games in Pittsburgh against the Pirates and 2 games in Chicago against the Cubs. For now, they only miss 5 games, which is another odd thing. By cancelling the first two series, games lost vary for different teams. Some teams, like the Cardinals, only miss 5 while some teams are missing 7. This is going to be a weird look at the end of the season when teams are fighting for division titles and playoff spots as teams may win their division or earn a playoff spot by a half game.
I've heard many fans say they are giving up MLB because of this. While that's your perogative, keep in mind why you love baseball, why you love the Cardinals. I hope that if you do leave, you come back. I, for one, will be ready for Opening Day, whenever that may be.
So because there is no MLB currently, what can you do? What baseball can you watch? I know many have planned trips to Florida and Arizona and are considering cancelling those trips. Minor league camps are still continuing. While I don't know for fact, but I'm sure you will be able to see some work being done by them. Minor league seasons are not affected by this. Minor league players will play unless they are on the 40 man roster. Go follow and watch the Memphis Redbirds, Springfield Cardinals, Peoria Chiefs, & the Palm Beach Cardinals. If you are unable to watch them, checkout ESPN+ as they have loads of college games. Go to your local high school and support them as well.
Hopefully we won't see more than 5 cancelled games for the Cardinals. There will be more Cardinal baseball in the future, unfortunately, we just don't know when.