The Collective Bargaining Agreement is expiring December 1st. The chances of a new agreement before then looks slim to none. This may lead to a lockout on December 2nd. This would dowse the hot stove. I have my doubts there will be any huge moves before then. There is also the chance of it dragging on until spring. The players want more money. The owners what to give less. Where is it going to go?
There have been five strikes (player triggered) and three lockouts (owner triggered) None of the lockouts resulted in cancelling any regular-season gains, although the 1990 lockout essentially cancelled all of spring training. There are a lot of bargaining chips each side can play, it’s just a question of which side wants to play which chip.
I’m not sure if there is much distinction between a lock out and a strike as far as the fans are concerned. Something similar to 1994 will be bad regardless of who triggered it.
Both sides seem pretty far away from each other right now. I’m sure both sides understand a work stoppage that threatens next season is bad for everyone but I’m not sure that will make them blink.
There have been a couple of free agent signings and some movement but nothing significant. I think the owners are afraid of agreeing to a free agent deal then getting screwed with a lower luxury tax limit or some other form of revenue sharing.
The other question is what would be good or bad for baseball in the next CBA?
Whatever would do something to raise sluggish interest in baseball would be good. I very much doubt anyone involved cares about that though; they want to fight over the pie, not grow it.
Alas, I agree with you on this. I also think that both sides have blinders on, and feel that things like slow play, the overabundance of “three true outcomes” plays (walks, strikeouts, home runs), and the lack of action on the basepaths, simply aren’t issues.
WAG: a lockout will wipe out most of spring training, but the season will start more-or-less on time; there will be no truly momentous changes in this CBA, compared to the old one, and no real changes to address some of the above issues that the game faces.
Rob Manfred has talked a lot about this stuff but I’m not sure he has the time or courage to get really intently serious about it.
The CBA is not going to address baseball strategy. Want to change the popular strategy? Win with a different one. What it can address is some teams getting luxury tax money and putting in their pocket and a structure that encourages teams to dump their good players in July so a couple of elite teams can gobble them up.
The biggest issues in the CBA that is like to see is a structure that prevents the tanking for draft picks and the playing time calculation so that teams will play their best players rather than stash them in the minors to control them longer. In both cases the structure of the league is encouraging teams to not put the best possible product on the field.
Please, anything but “replacement players.”
Personally, I wouldn’t mind teams fielding teams of replacement players, under the following conditions:
- The teams do not use their MLB mascots, nicknames, or even colors (e.g. the Cincinnati Reds can call the replacement team the Blues, and use blue instead of red);
- Games played by these teams are not to be counted in that season’s MLB standings.
Even with these conditions, I have a feeling MLBPA wouldn’t be particularly happy with anybody who played in these games - but tell that to everybody else who earns an income from working at baseball games.
Teams in MLB don’t really tank for draft picks, they tank to save money and save it for when acquiring expensive players might actually be worth it.
MLB draft picks are too random to merit tanking.
I do expect you’re right on the stashing issue though and that the union will really push to end slippery ways of denying a year of service time like the Cubs with Kris Bryant or Jays with Vladdy Jr.
And, many MLB players and prospects aren’t even included in the draft, which only covers prospects from the U.S. and its territories (including Puerto Rico) and Canada. Players from elsewhere in the Americas, as well as Japan, South Korea, etc., are signed by MLB teams outside of the draft.
Tell that to the Astros or the Cubs. They intentionally tanked for draft picks and turned that into the club they are now. A side effect of tanking is the ownership group saves money during that period. The Astros had a payroll of 22 million during the peek of their tanking but there is no reason to spend when you’re trying to lose. A bunch of other clubs have since followed their model and it doesn’t always work as you point out but it certainly doesn’t stop them from trying.
Technically you can’t douse the Hot Stove. Not anymore.
The National League changed from gas to electric in 1976 while the American League turned off their gas-powered stove for the last time in 1978.
Also, if you recall, 1976 was also the last year that either league used forced-air registers to heat the outfield, briefly changing to steam radiators and then within months, no heating whatsoever.
I blame Carter and the Oil Embargo.
You are way behind the times. Everyone is going green man!
IMHO the problem isn’t with tanking in that type of scenario. The Astros had a plan to compete for championships, and that was part of what had to be done to execute the strategy. It was painful for a few years, but it worked out, and is still working out, in the end. The big problem is with teams like the Orioles and Pirates. Those teams aren’t tanking with the goal of becoming competitive in another 3 - 5 years. They are essentially serving as an unofficial AAAA level farm system for the likes of the Yankees, Red Sox, and Dodgers. Maybe it’s time MLB institute a salary floor to prevent that sort of thing.
The only proposal by the owners so far is a salary floor and lowering the luxury tax ceiling. But neither will be a hard cap. I they are too high or too low the team pays a penalty. There is no way the players will go for that.
Maybe they need to stop catering to the cheapskate owners of the perennial basement dwelling teams and force them to get on board. I’m sure the players would go along with that, assuming they don’t try to lower the luxury tax ceiling simultaneously.
It would just be funny if they implemented a “luxury” tax on the cheapskates. For every million you are under league average you pay a $750k fine that is shared by teams more than a million over the average payroll.
You do realize that essentially half the teams will be under the league average. Let’s think up a different scheme to make the Yankees adn Dodger richer.