Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred previously stated that cancelling games would be a “disastrous outcome for the sport.” Well, after MLB’s deadline to get a new CBA done came and went on Tuesday evening without an agreement, Manfred did just that. In a press conference, he stated, “The calendar dictates that we are not going to be able to play the first two series of the regular season, and those games are officially cancelled.”
For the Pirates, this means that their first series against the Cardinals at PNC Park, and their second series against the Reds in Cincinnati will both be canceled, and those games will not be made up. Whether more games get cancelled depends on how quickly the two sides will be able to come to an agreement.
The commissioner also indicated that players across the league will not be paid for cancelled games, which could potentially throw another wrench into the labor negotiations, further complicating the matter.
This means that for the second time in three seasons, Major League Baseball will not play a full slate of 162 regular season games after the pandemic limited the 2020 season to just 60 games. Though under very different circumstances, this is a poor reflection for the sport and the potential for further cancelations would go even further.
Both sides have agreed to resume negotiations at their home bases in New York, though Manfred said that no deal will be possible now before Thursday due to travel. MLB plans to regroup in short order to determine what their next course of action should be. All indications show that the league will be awaiting a response from the union since the league made the last proposal. “You draw your own conclusion as to who ought to go next,” said Manfred.
The MLBPA released a statement on the announcement, which can be found below.
Statement from the Major League Baseball Players Association: pic.twitter.com/rmpciPsQm4
— MLBPA Communications (@MLBPA_News) March 1, 2022