The MLB lockout continues this week, to no one’s surprise, but potential headway during Monday’s lengthy discussion appears to have gone “backwards” on Tuesday according to some.
MLB believes players took a step backwards today, bc of proposed raises to the minimum salary. Union saw those increases as a counter-weight to drop in arb eligbility (80 to 75). PA believed its moves to be equivalent in effect to those MLB proposed a day earlier.— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) February 22, 2022
In a nutshell: it’s not going well. Progress, if there is any, is in inches and not miles, and with an arbitrary February 28th deadline looming, it seems unlikely both sides are going to find common ground before then. Will the start of the season be delayed? No one, including the owners, wants to see that happen, but it’s becoming more and more of a possibility every day.
As spring training gets shortened, the amount of available time for major league players to get ready for the season disappears with it, putting players in a risky position for shortened innings and potential injury.
And that’s if we get a season at all.
Let’s get into links, some of which are fun enough to hopefully bring a smile to your face.
- Brittany Ghiroli brings the story of Tyler Zombro, the Rays pitcher who took a comebacker to the head and eight months later is back in the game. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Will Sammon similarly has the story of Tyler Gillies, who thought he might lose his life to cancer, but is now at spring training. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Nick Selbe reports on the growing suspicion that Freddie Freeman will sign away from the Braves once the lockout ends.
- Buster Olney, similarly, looks at eight things that are likely to happen once the game is back in action.
- The next Field of Dreams game might take place at an iconic Negro Leagues stadium, writes Brendan Kuty.
- Anthony Castrovince revisits the true story of Jim Morris that became the movie The Rookie.
- Matt Bush is hoping that this season’s trip to spring training will get him back in the majors, shares Evan Grant.
- Tom Verducci worries that the economics of baseball are not its biggest threat to the future, but rather how it’s played.
- Safe to say fans are getting annoyed.
- Sarah Langs looks at which common baseball birthdays have the highest WAR. (Hint: if you want your future child to be an All-Star, aim for August 31)
- Tess Taruskin looks at how catcher prospects are changing in today’s game.
- James Fegan tries to determine what the future of pitch framing is with talk of an automated strike zone. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Levi Weaver offers a 4-step plan to resolve baseball’s issues with the strike zone. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Josh Hamilton has faced a slew of legal and personal issues since leaving baseball. In his newest legal trouble, he has pled guilty to unlawful restraint, reports Chris Halicke.
- Evidently, pace of play is not one of the many topics on the agenda for the ongoing labor discussions, reports Nick Selbe. Selbe also reports on what has been discussed as of the second day of negotiations this week.
- In one of the week’s most unusual stories (that tickled me immensely) was Emma Baccellieri effort to solve a Sex and the City baseball mystery.
- In my other favorite story of the week, Jon Greenberg has the story of the photographer whose photos of a baseball in chains have become an iconic part of the lockout. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Rob Biertempfel and Will Sammon ask the question: “How do young fans view baseball?” (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Former MLB pitcher Oliver Pérez will be retiring from the Mexican League in 2022, reports Mandy Bell.
- A fun little 2/22/22 fact:
In honor of 2/22/22, did you know that #22 is the most commonly worn uniform number in MLB history? It’s been worn by 896 players, according to @Baseball_Ref.— Alex Mayer (@alexmayer34) February 22, 2022
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Make it so.