After weeks of negotiations in late 2021, it became clear that MLB and the Players Association were not going anywhere in collective bargaining agreement (CBA) negotiations, at least not anytime soon.
Most teams already knew a lockout would be in place, otherwise they wouldn’t have rushed to sign free agents until December.
The previous CBA expired on December 1, so Manfred implemented a lockout.
Teams are no longer able to sign or trade players until a new CBA is agreed.
Worst of all are the blatant lies he told fans in a statement, posted on the league’s official website on December 2.
A statement full of lies
In the statement, he said things like this:
“Despite the league’s best efforts to reach an agreement with the Players Association, we were unable to extend our 26-year history of labor peace and reach an agreement with the MLBPA before the expiration of the contract. current CBA. As a result, we have been forced to begin a Major League player lockout, effective 12:01 a.m. ET on December 2.
The “best efforts” part is highly questionable to say the least.
During the union press conference, Tony Clark pointedly criticized Rob Manfred for his “misrepresentations” in his fan letter:
“It would have been beneficial to the process to have spent as much time negotiating in the room (this week) as it seemed to have been spent in the letter.”
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) December 2, 2021
At the time, everyone knew that they weren’t trying too hard to reach an agreement, otherwise the parties would be much closer now.
They’re just not willing to concede a bigger slice of the pie to the players.
The part where Manfred says he was “forced” into a lockdown is also a blow to players and fans.
Nobody forced Manfred, or the owners, to implement a lockout: he did it as a pressure initiative, in the hope of restarting negotiations.
It didn’t work: it was never going to work.
He also said this:
“This defensive lockout was necessary because the Players Association’s vision for Major League Baseball would threaten most teams’ ability to be competitive.”
No more lies.
Gamers want to be compensated for their work, and if owners are making life-changing money thanks in large part to player talent, then they deserve a much better compensation plan.
An increase in the MLB minimum wage is overdue, and not insignificant.
Over 60% of the league has between zero and three years of service, thus qualifying for the league minimum.
The league only wants a marginal increase (from $570,500 to $600,000), while the players want $775,000.
Manfred and the owners do not want to negotiate: they want to impose
But Manfred has no interest in negotiating: he wants to impose the will of the owners, perhaps under pressure from them.
In that statement, Manfred told another of his signature lies: “MLB stands ready to work around the clock to achieve this goal. I urge the Players Association to meet us at the table.
All over Twitter, players have made clear they are ready to continue negotiating, as the league asks a federal mediator to mediate in a scrimmage.
Oh, and MLB is seeking mediation to resolve something it started: the lockout.
Also, if MLB was “ready to work 24 hours a day”, we would have had a lot more activity in December, and it was practically a lost month.
Minutes after the lockout, Rob Manfred closed his “letter to baseball fans” with the statement below. Then MLB went silent for 6 weeks. Now, after *limited* negotiations, they’ve put the MLBPA in a lose-lose situation.
That’s why people say, “Put the people who love baseball in charge” pic.twitter.com/1anlmgnKVj
— Chris Halicke (@ChrisHalicke) February 4, 2022
The league seemed in no rush to negotiate in December.
After the lockdown was put in place, the first serious discussions about the ABC took place after the first week of January.
Now, the season starting on time is a risky proposition.
Manfred’s lies are behind this whole charade.