clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Tuesday Bird Droppings: Finally, signs of progress in MLB labor talks

A marathon negotiating session between the players and MLB yesterday made real headway toward a new collective bargaining agreement.

MLB: World Series-Atlanta Braves at Houston Astros
Pictured: Carlos Correa, waiting impatiently for the lockout to end so the Orioles can sign him.
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

You guys, I don’t want to jinx anything, but the MLB lockout might be creeping toward its end.

Yesterday brought a marathon round of labor talks between Major League Baseball and the MLBPA, a day of discussions that began around 10 in the morning and continued well past midnight, with at least a dozen separate face-to-face meetings between league and union negotiators.

MLB had previously targeted Feb. 28 as its deadline for reaching a deal, stating that if no collective bargaining agreement was struck by that date, the season’s March 31 Opening Day wouldn’t happen as scheduled. So if you’re anything like me, you spent the majority of the evening nervously refreshing Twitter, desperate for any morsel of good news about the labor talks while simultaneously steeling yourself for the worst case scenario.

There was, encouragingly, more of the former than the latter, per reports. The two sides’ around-the-clock discussions yesterday seemed to bear fruit, bringing more progress than had seemingly been accomplished in the three previous months. There was even some movement on hot-button issues like the competitive balance tax, to the point that the CBT is “not expected to hold up a deal,” per SNY’s Andy Martino, who added that the biggest sticking point was whether to expand the postseason to 14 teams (as the owners want) or 12 (the players’ preference). I know which I would vote for, but nobody asked me.

Despite the signs of progress, though, the two parties weren't able to reach a deal before calling it a night. They did agree to reconvene today, giving them another few hours to try to put the finishing touches on a new CBA. For now, Opening Day remains in jeopardy.

If talks don't progress today and regular season games begin to be canceled or postponed, well, that could only be described as a disappointment. It’d be a disappointment for millions of fans who will be deprived of their go-to entertainment for an undetermined amount of time, some of whom might not come back even when the sport returns. And it’d be a disappointment for the many people whose livelihoods fully or partially depend on Major League Baseball — not just players, but ballpark workers, team staffers, and everyone who does so much of the behind-the-scenes grunt work to bring baseball into our lives.

And don’t forget the poor bloggers! What are one-trick ponies like me supposed to vamp about for weeks on end while we’re waiting for baseball to return? I can’t write Sporcle quizzes forever, people.

What do we do with our lives if the baseball season doesn’t start on time? Hopefully we won’t have to find out.

Links

MLB: Orioles de Baltimore van con todo por Carlos Correa - Con Las Bases Llenas
Fire up Google translate if you need to, because it’s fun to read a rumor about the Orioles considering a mega-deal for Correa, however improbable it may be. As my wife and Camden Chat bigwig Stacey said, “I hate baseball right now, but if this happened, I would love it again.”

Analyst bullish on DL Hall, but future role is a question - Steve Melewski
Melewski discusses the Orioles’ top lefty pitching prospect, whom FanGraphs comps as a possible Josh Hader-type reliever if he can’t cut it as a starter. I think I could live with that outcome.

Coaching with an analytics lens: How the Orioles' development coach role is enhancing their farm system and their player development department - Maximizing Playoff Odds
I tell ya, if there’s one group who’s thriving in the spotlight during the lockout, it’s minor league coaches. I’ve seen about 100 times more articles about them this offseason than ever before.

Orioles might give Stewart his final chance in 2022 - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Now MLB definitely needs to end the lockout. It’d be cruel to deny Orioles fans the chance to say their goodbyes to DJ Stewart.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Four ex-Orioles were born on this day, including right-hander Howie Fox (b. 1921, d. 1955), who had the rare distinction of playing for both the minor-league Baltimore Orioles (in their final Triple-A season in 1953) and the major-league Baltimore Orioles (in their inaugural MLB season of 1954).

Other former Orioles with March 1 birthdays include left-hander Omar Daal (50), infielder Larry Brown (82), and the late Bert Hamric (b. 1928, d. 1984), who had eight plate appearances for the 1958 club.

On this day in 2019, the Orioles re-claimed Hanser Alberto on waivers from the Giants, the second time they’d claimed the infielder that offseason. Their persistence paid off, as Alberto emerged as a surprise contributor that year, batting .305 and taking over as the everyday second baseman. His stint in Baltimore ultimately lasted just two years, but not too shabby for a waiver claim.