Cincinnati Reds opening day delayed after MLB owners and players’ association fail on collective bargaining agreement | Sports & Leisure | Cincinnati

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Photo: Danielle Schuster

Great American Ball Park in downtown Cincinnati

Major League Baseball’s opening day is once again a moving target. This time, however, it’s not because of COVID-19.

MLB canceled the first two series of the 2022 season, including Opening Day, as team owners and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) failed to agree on a new convention. collective (CBA) before the deadline imposed by MLB on Tuesday. After a marathon of nine straight days of talks, the MLBPA unanimously rejected the owners’ latest offer on the labor contract on March 1.

The Cincinnati Reds were originally scheduled to open the season at Great American Ball Park with a game against the Chicago Cubs on Thursday, March 31. Canceled games will not be made up and players will not be paid for those missed games, MLB said Tuesday. The league’s 30 teams will now each play a maximum of 156 games, and that’s only if the owners and the MLBPA reach an agreement soon to avoid further cancellations. If an agreement is reached, the Reds’ season will begin with the series against the Atlanta Braves on April 7.

By an exit from the Reds, fans with the original March 31 Opening Day tickets can use those tickets for the first home game of the 2022 season, whenever it starts (essentially the new Opening Day). Those with tickets to Reds games from April 2-6 will receive a credit that can be applied to future home games. Fans can also request a refund for all matches from March 31 through April 6.

MLB has been in hibernation since December, when team owners forced a lockout after the five-year former CBA expired. During a lockout, agency is frozen, players cannot use team facilities, and practices or games are not played. Depending on the length of the current shutdown, what happens this year could affect free agency eligibility for some players or cause other issues next season as well.

It is the first work stoppage since the 1994-95 players’ strike that doomed the 1994 World Series. It is the ninth stoppage in history and only the fifth that has canceled regular season games.

At issue: player salaries, league revenue distribution, bonus pools, service time and the financial treatment of young players.

After declining the franchisees’ offer on March 1, the MLBPA released this statement:

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

Since the beginning of these negotiations, the Players’ objectives have been consistent: to promote competition, to provide fair compensation to young Players and to maintain the integrity of our market system. In an environment of growing revenues and record profits, we are looking for nothing more than a fair deal.

What Rob Manfred called a “defensive lockout” is, in fact, the culmination of a decades-long attempt by owners to break up our gaming fraternity. As in the past, this effort will fail. We are united and committed to brokering a fair deal that will make the sport better for players, fans and everyone who loves our game.

Also, MLB commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr. released a statement on March 1, reading in part:

I want to assure our fans that our failure to reach an agreement was not due to a lack of effort on the part of either party. Players came here for nine days, worked hard and tried to make a deal. I appreciate their efforts.

Our committee of club representatives engaged in the process, offered compromise after compromise and beat the deadline to exhaust all efforts to reach an agreement.

So far, we have failed to achieve our common goal of a fair deal. Unfortunately, the deal we offered has huge benefits for fans and players.

The two sides can continue to negotiate, and Manfred has the power to lift the lockout and run the league without CBA at any time.

The lockdown comes after the 2021 and 2020 seasons were either shortened, reduced in capacity or otherwise altered due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Cincinnati Reds went 83-79 in the 2021 regular season and missed postseason action with just a few games to spare.

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Andrew B. Reiter