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MLB Cancels Opening Day, First Two Regular Season Series After MLBPA Rejects ‘Final Proposal’

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HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 26: Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred looks on prior to Game One of the World Series between the Atlanta Braves and the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on October 26, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) were unable to come to an agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) by Tuesday’s 5 p.m. Eastern deadline, with the result being the cancellation of regular season baseball games. 

Jeff Passan of ESPN reported Tuesday afternoon that MLBPA leaders voted to unanimously reject MLB’s final proposal. 

“BREAKING: MLBPA player leaders agreed unanimously not to accept MLB’s final proposal, and there will be no deal on a new collective-bargaining agreement before MLB’s 5 p.m. ET deadline, sources tell ESPN,” Passan said on Twitter. “MLB has threatened to cancel its March 31 Opening Day without a new deal.”

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred later announced the cancellation of Opening Day as well as the first two series of the regular season. 

“I had hoped against hope that I would not have to have this particular press conference, in which I am going to have to cancel some regular season games,” Manfred said on Tuesday. “We worked hard to avoid an outcome that’s bad for our fans, bad for our players, and bad for our clubs.”

“We offered to raise the minimum salary to $700,000, an increase of $130,000 from last year,” he continued. “We offered to create an annual bonus pool of $30 million for our very best young players. In total, we are offering nearly a 33% raise to almost two-thirds of major league players, and we’re adding more than $100 million annually in additional compensation to this younger player group.”

“The calendar dictates that we are not going to be able to play the first two series of regular season games and those games are officially canceled,” Manfred added. “We are prepared to continue negotiations. We have been informed that the MLBPA is headed back to New York meaning that no agreement is possible until at least Thursday. Currently, camps could not meaningfully operate until at least March 8th, leaving only 23 days before scheduled Opening Day.”

On Monday night — which MLB had originally said was the deadline to reach an agreement before regular season games begin to be canceled — the two sides met for nearly 16 hours and did make some progress, according to MLB.com. Ultimately, the ninth work stoppage in MLB history comes down to money. 

The MLBPA released a statement confirming the news. 

Rob Manfred and MLB’s owners have cancelled the start of the season. Players and fans around the world who love baseball are disgusted, but sadly not surprised. 

From the beginning of these negotiation, Players’ objectives have been consistent — to promote competition, provide fair compensation for young Players, and to uphold the integrity of our market system. Against the backdrop of growing revenues and record profits, we are seeking nothing more than a fair agreement.

What Rob Manfred characterized as a ‘defensive lockout’ is, in fact, the culmination of a decades long attempt by owners to break our Player fraternity. As in the past, this effort will fail. We are united and committed to negotiating a fair deal that will improve the sport for Players, fans and everyone who loves our game.

According to The Associated Press, players will lose $20.5 million in total for every day of the season that is canceled. The two sides have not set a date to return to the negotiation table. 

Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to sports@dailywire.com.

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