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Wednesday Bird Droppings: MLB cancels first week of season

A new CBA was not agreed to before MLB’s self-imposed deadline to end their self-imposed lockout. So now they have cancelled their own games as a result. Brilliant.

Syndication: Palm Beach Daily News GREG LOVETT/THE PALM BEACH POST / USA TODAY NETWORK

Good morning, Birdland!

The nightmare scenario is upon us. MLB announced that due to its self-imposed lockout, the first two series of the season will be cancelled. Rob Manfred explained this in a weird press conference in which he made jokes, laughed in front of reporters, and lied a whole bunch. The guy is a disaster as commissioner, and he is completely unaware of it.

It is ridiculous that it has gotten to this point. The lockout started in December, and it took until this past week for substantial talks to take place. Manfred was asked specifically why that happened, and he didn’t have an answer.

That’s because the truth is that the owners are completely fine with losing games, especially early on. In fact, losing games might even be to their benefit. The players miss out on full paychecks while the owners just miss a bunch of sparsely attended games that take place with school still in session, rough weather in much of the country, and most people still focused on the NBA, NHL, or their favorite show.

I will say that I have been impressed at how strong the union has remained. The owners did inch their offers ever so slightly towards the players in the last couple of days, and you can imagine a scenario in which the union prefers to get something rather than nothing. But they have been steady in their goal to earn fair salaries for young players and mid-tier veterans. That is commendable.

This isn’t over. The two sides will keep talking back in New York. The largest remaining bargaining chip seems to be the playoffs. Owners want 14 teams, players want 12. If the expanded playoffs do happen, the players should be given everything else they ask for. It’s obvious why the league wants more teams. Because the payout from broadcast and advertising partners would be massive, so give the players a bigger piece of the ever enlarging pie.

Owners are the worst.

Links

New Delmarva skipper can ask dad, brother about managing | Steve Melewski
Felipe Alou Jr.’s dad certainly has experience managing some high-level baseball games. But the younger Alou has enough of his own experience in which to draw. He has been with the Orioles for 15 years, recently moving from the Dominican League to Delmarva.

A former teammate’s take on Shed Long Jr. | School of Roch
I did not know that Long started his pro career as a catcher. So that’s Adley’s backup sorted then? At least we will be able to watch both of them playing games at the start of April. For now, the minor league season is set to begin as normal.

Why the 2022 season is delayed and what it means for the Orioles | The Baltimore Sun
This is a good refresher on all of the CBA talks if you have been busy that past couple of days. It covers the biggest sticking points and how it impacts the Orioles in particular.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Bud Norris turns 37 today. The right-handed pitcher spent parts of three seasons with the Orioles from 2013 through 2015 after being acquired from the Astros in exchange for Josh Hader, L.J. Hoes, and a competitive balance pick.
  • Jay Gibbons celebrates his 45th birthday. Over seven seasons with the O’s from 2001 through 2007, the left-handed slugger

This weekend in O’s history

2021 - Orioles pitcher John Means is pulled after recording two outs in the top of the first inning due to reaching his pitch count. But he then re-renters to pitch the second inning. Normal rules have been suspended for spring games due to coronavirus precautions and teams being limited to number of players in the dugout at one time, allowing players to re-enter games.