MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred on Wednesday announced another wave of regular season cancellations. Opening day has been pushed back until at least April 14, effectively canceling two more series per team. Last week, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced that the first two series of the 2022 regular season have been cancelled. Opening day was originally scheduled for March 31.
The cancellations come after two days of marathon bargaining sessions with the MLB Players Association that failed to reach a new collective bargaining agreement. Here is Manfred’s statement on the latest wave of cancellations:
“In a last-ditch effort to preserve the 162-game season, this week we made good faith proposals that addressed the specific concerns expressed by the MLBPA and would have allowed players to return to the field immediately. Clubs have gone to extraordinary lengths to meet the MLBPA’s core demands. On the major economic issues that posed obstacles, the clubs suggested ways to bridge the gaps to maintain a full schedule.Unfortunately, after the second late-night bargaining session in a week, they remained without an agreement.
“Due to the logistical facts of the calendar, two more series have been removed from the schedule, which means that opening day is postponed until April 14. We have worked hard to reach an agreement and have offered a fair deal with significant improvements to our players and fans, and I am saddened by the impact this ongoing situation has on our game and everyone involved. Part of it, especially our loyal fans.
“We have the utmost respect for our players and hope that they will eventually choose to accept the fair agreement they have been offered.”
The owner-imposed shutdown is approaching its 100th day and the MLB has set another “soft” deadline for the Games to be canceled on Tuesday. The deadline was pushed back to Wednesday after 17 hours of haggling, and while the two sides bridged the gap on some economic matters, the biggest sticking point at the moment is an international draft. MLB wants one and the union continues to oppose it.
The total number of stakes is four series canceled for each of the 30 teams. Generally, every team plays roughly two series per week over the course of the season, so this counts as two weeks off the season.
Perhaps part of the focus here should shift toward Jackie Robinson’s day. This is an event celebrated annually by Major League Baseball in memory of Robinson breaking the color barrier in 1947. April 15, 1947 was the opening day of that season and every year on that day, beginning with the 2004 season, MLB celebrates, most recently moving towards every player He wears Robinson’s number 42 (otherwise retired across the league).
April 15th falls on a Friday this year and the date is in a precarious position in the MLB calendar, although there is also the possibility that it could mark a triumphant comeback. New CBA and owners lift their shutdown, the league could target Jackie Robinson’s Day as the opening day. If the owners keep the shutdown in place and no agreement is reached, the next batch of cancellations will include Jackie Robinson Day on the 75th anniversary of his MLB debut.
CBS Sports will show more about this breaking news story.