MLB lockout news: Rob Manfred cancels more games after talks stall; April 14 now earliest possible Opening Day

On Wednesday, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred announced another wave of regular season cancellations. Opening Day has been postponed until at least April 14, effectively canceling another two series for each team. Last week, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred announced that the first two series of the 2022 regular season had been canceled. Opening Day was originally scheduled for March 31.

The cancellations come after two days of marathon bargaining sessions with the MLB Players’ Association failed to bring a new collective bargaining agreement. Here is Manfred’s statement on the latest wave of cancellations:

“In a last-ditch effort to preserve a 162-game season, this week we have made good-faith proposals that address the specific concerns voiced by the MLBPA and would have allowed the players to return to the field immediately. The Clubs went to extraordinary lengths to meet the substantial demands of the MLBPA. On the key economic issues that have posed stumbling blocks, the Clubs proposed ways to bridge gaps to preserve a full schedule. Regrettably, after our second late-night bargaining session in a week, we remain without a deal.

“Because of the logistical realities of the calendar, another two series are being removed from the schedule, meaning that Opening Day is postponed until April 14th. We worked hard to reach an agreement and offered a fair deal with significant improvements for the players and our fans.I am saddened by this situation’s continued impact on our game and all those who are a part of it, especially our loyal fans.

“We have the utmost respect for our players and hope they will ultimately choose to accept the fair agreement they have been offered.”

The owner-imposed lockout is approaching its 100th day and MLB set another “soft” deadline for canceling games Tuesday. That deadline was pushed to Wednesday following 17 hours of bargaining, and while the two sides did close the gap on some economic matters, the biggest sticking point right now is an international draft. MLB wants one and the union continues to oppose.

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The running the tally is four total canceled series for each of the 30 teams. In general, each team plays roughly two series per week throughout the season, so this is tantamount to canceling two weeks of the season.

Perhaps part of the focus here should move toward Jackie Robinson Day. This is an event celebrated annually by Major League Baseball on the anniversary of Robinson breaking the color barrier in 1947. April 15, 1947 was Opening Day that season and every year on that day, starting with the 2004 season, MLB has celebrated, more recently moving toward every player wearing Robinson’s number 42 (it’s otherwise retired across the league).

April 15 falls on a Friday this year and the date is in a precarious situation on the MLB calendar, though there’s also a chance it could mark a triumphant return.If MLB and the MLBPA somehow come to an agreement in the next several days on a The new CBA and the owners lift their lockout, the league could target Jackie Robinson Day as opening day. If the owners keep the lockout intact and an agreement isn’t reached, the next batch of cancellations will include Jackie Robinson Day on the 75th anniversary of his MLB debut.

CBS Sports will have more on this breaking news story.

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