Pitchers and catchers were set to return on Feb. 15, but with the Major League Baseball (MLB) work stoppage, there are talks of spring training not happening or being delayed.
This is the first MLB work stoppage since the 1994-95 strike and the first lockout with players since 1990. Players have been locked out by the MLB since early December, and this lockout seems to not have an end in sight.
With spring training approaching, baseball fans are in a panic hoping the 2022 season will start on time. Panic from fans is leading labor secretary Marty Walsh to speak out to the MLB and the MLB Players Association (MLBPA).
“I have spoken to both the MLBPA and MLB about the ongoing contract negotiations and encourage both sides to continue engagement,” said Walsh via a spokesperson. “Like any contract negotiation in any industry, I stand ready to help facilitate productive conversations that result in the best outcome for workers and employers.”
Walsh getting involved in the MLB lockout will hopefully allow spring training to begin on time and baseball season to occur with no problems.
Baseball fans throughout the country are hoping the season starts on time, however some remain skeptical.
“As much as I would love for the MLB to start on time and for pitchers and catchers to report next Tuesday, I do not think it’s possible,” said Samantha Relkin, freshman communications major. “The continuing lockout would have needed to end quite some time ago in order for an on-time start. Hopefully they start sooner rather than later so the opening day can remain March 31.”
The MLB having pitchers and catchers report on March 15 is a mission that seems impossible with such a short amount of time to cut a deal.
“I do not think the season will start on time, because I heard things about delaying spring training by a month,” said Brianna Orbach, freshman finance major. “Fingers crossed that they start on time, especially [since] the Yankees are so close to the school.”
Spring training is not only beneficial for baseball fans, but for the economy of the areas surrounding spring training stadiums.
“You’ll see a sales pop of 30% on game days. At the end of the week, that could be thousands of dollars in lost revenue in a week for not having baseball here,” said Michael DeNunzio, owner of Fine Folk Pizza located near the Boston Red Sox’s spring training field.
With businesses, communities, and fans feeling the impact of the MLB lockout, Walsh getting involved in encouraging the MLB season to begin is a good thing. Walsh wants to help negotiate an agreement between the MLB and MLBPA to give fans and players the season they deserve.
Spring training is a time when fans get to experience baseball in Florida and Arizona, a time when players sign autographs and give baseballs to fans.
“Growing up close to the Yankees Stadium and being quarter season ticket holders, I love watching younger players progress,” said Connor Fowler, freshman communication major.
Baseball is a part of many of our lives and with the current lockout happening, fans cannot wait to get back into the stands and root for their favorite team.