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MLB asks for federal mediation for labor negotiations with MLBPA

Something happened regarding the lockout today! But... don’t get your hopes too far up.

Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Major League Baseball players and owners have not met to discuss a new collective bargaining agreement since a “heated” meeting Tuesday, and no meetings are currently scheduled.

However, this afternoon we have news!

This is really interesting. The current lockout is MLB’s choice — Commissioner Rob Manfred said it would “jumpstart” negotiations back in November. Obviously, that didn’t happen.

Here is where I point out that federal mediators were called into use during the 1994-95 strike and that didn’t help matters much:

Warning that the major league baseball strike was trying Americans’ patience and imperiling thousands of jobs, President Clinton today threw increased White House power behind efforts to force a mediated settlement.

Mr. Clinton ordered a Federal mediator to bring baseball’s players and owners back to the bargaining table, and he set a Feb. 6 deadline for them to make substantial headway toward ending the strike. Otherwise, he warned, the Government would ask the mediator to propose a solution.

That was in January 1995, when the strike had already cancelled the 1994 World Series. It did little to move things along and eventually, as you know, owners began spring training with replacement players in 1995. Only a ruling by Federal Judge Sonia Sotomayor stating that was illegal finally ended the strike in March 1995.

So while the appointment of a mediator sounds like a good idea, and who knows? Maybe it will be, but I wouldn’t expect any miracles to come out of this, not right away, anyway. Keep this in mind, and Grant always seems to know the right thing to tweet:

Also, keep this in mind:

As always, we await developments.

UPDATE: Here’s a development which does not seem good at all:

UPDATE 2: Consider the source (generally pro-ownership), but (and see Jon Heyman’s note, matching what I said about mediation not really working in the 1994/95 strike):