Second Opening Day Postponement Is Equal Fault of MLB Players and Owners

After another day of failed negotiations, Major League Baseball's opening day is postponed until at least April 14

A general view of the "Opening Day" logo on the scoreboard prior to a White Sox game. The second postponement of MLB opening day is the fault of both the players and owners.
With opening day pushed off again, neither side can claim the moral high ground.
Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire via Getty

In his 1977 song “We Just Disagree,” English singer-guitarist Dave Mason offers the following thought about a failure to reach a meeting of the minds: “So let’s leave it alone ’cause we can’t see eye to eye / There ain’t no good guy, there ain’t no bad guy / There’s only you and me and we just disagree.”

He’s got the disagreement part correct when it comes to the ongoing labor dispute between Major League Baseball’s players and owners, but the good guy/bad guy thing is not accurate in this instance as both sides deserve to be on the “bad” side of the ledger at this point.

Without getting into updates about any of the actual matters that are being negotiated because they are largely irrelevant to MLB’s on-field product, the important news to come out of yesterday’s negotiating session is that pro baseball’s opening day has been pushed back, again.

Following a postponement of the start of the season last week, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred canceled 93 more games on Wednesday, seemingly cutting off the chance to play a full 162-game schedule and raising the total to 184 games wiped out from the 2,430-game regular season. “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 14,” Manfred said.

While the NBA, NHL and MLS play games and the NFL makes headlines a month into the league’s offseason, MLB cannot get it together and largely remains an afterthought. That’s where it will stay if players and owners cannot figure out a way to meet somewhere in the middle, which shouldn’t be hard to do, and get their season back on track.

“We worked hard to reach an agreement and offered a fair deal with significant improvements for the players and our fans,” Manfred said. “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.”

Translation: It’s the players’ fault.

“The owners’ decision to cancel additional games is completely unnecessary,” the MLBPA responded. “After making a set of comprehensive proposals to the league earlier this afternoon, and being told substantive responses were forthcoming, players have yet to hear back. Players want to play, and we cannot wait to get back on the field for the best fans in the world. Our top priority remains the finalization of a fair contract for all players, and we will continue negotiations toward that end.’’

Translation: It’s the owners’ fault.

With almost 10% of MLB’s season currently canceled and negotiations increasing in bitterness but decreasing in being interesting to most fans, both sides are at fault. It’s time to stop playing the blame game and start playing baseball.

UPDATE: Guess they listened…

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