Officials said Tuesday that Opening Day of Major League Baseball's regular-season season could not be held as planned. This was because management's lockout of players ended its third month without any agreement.
Rob Manfred, MLB Commissioner, made the announcement following the failure of the league to reach a settlement with the Major League Baseball Players Association. This was to end the lockout.
Manfred said Tuesday that "the calendar dictates that it's not going to be possible to play the first two seasons of the regular season, and those games have been officially canceled."
He said that League officials were willing to continue negotiations but there was not enough time for spring training before Opening Day, March 31.
Manfred stated that both the owners and the clubs fully appreciate the importance of getting the game on the pitch as quickly as possible. "To achieve that goal we want to negotiate and we want an agreement as soon as possible with the player's union."
A spokesperson for the union confirmed that players had rejected Tuesday's latest offer from the league.
The union released a statement describing Tuesday's events in a statement as "the culmination of a decade-long attempt by owners, to break our player fraternity." This effort, like the past, will fail.
It stated that the members have "consistently promoted competition, provided fair compensation for young players, and upheld the integrity of our markets system." We are looking for a fair agreement, despite record profits and growing revenues.
MLB originally had set a Monday night deadline to reach a deal in order for March 31 to be played. Talks continued into Tuesday morning without any announcements, raising hopes that Opening Day could be saved.
"MLB has pumped the media last night and today that there's momentum towards a deal," San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Alex Wood tweeted late Tuesday.
"Now, the tone of the players has changed. It's our fault if a deal doesn't happen today. This is not a coincidence. This has been our tone since the beginning. We want fair deals/to play ball."
The most recent collective bargaining arrangement expired Dec. 1. Owners have stopped all offseason transactions, such as trades and no-agent signings, and banned players from training at team facilities.
The union and management remain at odds on key economic issues. These include soft caps for team payrolls and service time that players must log before being eligible to become a free agent.
The union also demands safeguards against service time manipulation,in which clubs keep players in minor leagues for just enough time that their first season doesn't count towards a full labor year. This would push that person's eligibility for free agency back by 365 days.
The March 31 is the expected date for the first pitch in the 2022 baseball season. There will be a full slate of games starting at 1:15 p.m. with the St. Louis Cardinals hosting the Pittsburgh Pirates.
A deal must be reached quickly to save the 162-game MLB season.
In 1962, 162 games were first played by all MLB teams. has only been able to schedule 162 games once before.
The regular seasons were cut by player strikes in 1982 and 1981 before another strike occurred in 1994. This forced the to end that playing year. was not crowned World Series champion in.
1995 was the year of that work stoppage, which forced a regular season with just 144 games.
The 2020 season was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic for four months and contained just 60 games. These were played mostly in empty stadiums.