If you’re questioning if spring training will make a return, there’s no need to worry. Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) have reached a deal after a 99-day contentious lockout and spring training will soon begin.
Starting on Dec. 2, 2021, the MLB and MLBPA did not speak much, pushed back deadlines, and did not have a resolution in sight. This was the second-longest work stoppage in MLB history.
On March 10, 2022, the MLB and the players union struck a deal.
Players are now able to return to training camps on March 11, with a mandatory report date of March 13.
“I am really excited that the lockout is over, and that baseball is back,” said Blake Baase, freshman accounting major.
The new deal includes a full 162 game season, no more starting the runner on second base for extra innings, a universal designated hitter, a 12-team postseason, and the start of spring training this week.
Opening Day is April 7 and many baseball fans cannot wait.
“Baseball being back means everything to me, it’s my favorite sport and thing to watch and anybody that knows me knows that,” said Samantha Relkin, freshman communications major. “I was keeping track of every development, negotiation, and anything that happened surrounding the lockout. I’m so happy it’s over, when I got the news… I started sobbing on [my roommates] floor because I was so excited.”
Fans are crucial in the baseball season. As can be seen by Relkin, baseball is a big part of her life. No matter what team, many fans are thrilled to have baseball back.
The World Series and the road to the postseason is not close, but with the MLB announcing a return, fans are already looking at the big picture of who will win the World Series.
“Hopefully the Tampa Bay Rays will win the World Series they should have won in 2020,” said Basse.
While fans anxiously awaited the announcement of baseball returning, players did as well. Rob Manfred, MLB Commissioner, released a statement regarding the return of baseball and apologizing to fans.
“I am genuinely thrilled to be able to say that Major League Baseball is back and we’re going to play 162 games,” said Manfred. “I do want to start by apologizing to our fans. I know the last few months have been difficult.”
Many players in the MLB are hoping for “more positivity toward the game” from Manfred, according to New York Yankees reliever and member of the players association’s executive subcommittee, Zack Britton.
Despite the disagreements between Manfred, players, and unions, the deal is baseball is on and nothing can interfere with that.
“Having baseball back is going to relieve so much stress from school and life so I have something to watch and distract myself,” said Connor Fowler, freshman communications major.