Money (as usual) the focus of MLB lockout


Jack Hagen | Sports Editor

January 21, 2022

49 days ago, Major League Baseball (MLB) commissioner Rob Manfred initiated a “lockout.” Now what does this really mean?

In simple terms, the players are temporarily unemployed by the league until the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA), their union, and the 30 owners can reach an agreement on a new contract. The idea behind this was that the two parties would come to an agreement faster if the commissioner forced their hand. However, it ended up taking 43 days for the owners to even send a proposal over to the MLBPA. This was sent with full knowledge that the association would not accept as it was almost insultingly low, and now the MLBPA has officially prepared a counter offer that they will present to the owners on Monday, January 24.

This disagreement, as many usually are, is about money. The players believe they are not paid enough and the owners believe they are paying them too much. While many contracts may jump out at you like Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts’ $365 million contract, 60 percent of players make under $1 million and 30 percent under $600,000. Yes this is much more money than what most working-class people make, but what these athletes do is far from average and is relative to the amount of money that the team owners make in a given season. For example, in 2019, the Dodgers projected revenue was $556 million. It is only fair that the players are compensated appropriately.

“I think it is sad that the reason nothing can get done right now is money,” senior and varsity baseball player Ryan Dunbar said. “Do they really need more than they have already because the only ones getting hurt now are the fans?”

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Sammy Sosa (left) and Mark McGuire (right). Getty Images

Unfortunately if an agreement cannot be found, the lockout is going to start to cut into the 2022 season, and the fans will also be paying the price. Baseball is already experiencing some of the lowest viewership numbers ever and if there isn’t even a season, the views will plummet even further.

The last time the MLB was in this situation in 1995, it was saved by the steroid era. The fans were fed up with the game, just like today, but then homeruns started skyrocketing and there was the historic race between St. Louis Cardinals’ Mark McGuire and Chicago Cubs’ Sammy Sosa to break the all-time record for most homeruns in a season. Things like this brought people back into baseball but now they are slipping away again faster and faster and the lockout is only pushing more people away from the game.

“Hopefully they can reach an agreement before spring training,” senior and varsity baseball player Kaden Giles said. “It would be a shame to see the season get put on hold all because the players and the owners can’t find a middle ground on their differences.”

Hopefully the counter proposed by the MLBPA is a fair one that gets us closer to the start of the season.

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