MLB Lockout


Eli Jablonski, Staff Writer

Nine times in 144 seasons…

It doesn’t seem like that much; however, these occurrences can lead to changes, both positive and negative, that would affect how the game is played, watched, and funded for years to come. These are called lockouts or lockdowns. The most recent lockout began on December 2, 2021. During a lockout, all employees, players, and coaches are not allowed to work for Major League Baseball. This is a full stoppage of any activity done by any employee, player, or coach until the lockout has finished. The biggest ways this affects the sport are how players prepare for the season, how teams are constructed, and how financially detrimental this event can be. 

Players, in the offseason, take time to prepare for the 162+ games they will play throughout the long season. They will rely on certain activities such as Spring Training to ensure they are in tip-top shape for Opening Day. Most of these activities are regulated by the MLB. Since Major League Baseball is currently locked down, players are not able to access these activities. For the time being, they will not be able to practice with their teams, play in Spring Training, or be able to use other MLB monitored activities. Although they are not limited to these listed things, it will make it more difficult for the players to prepare for their games. 

Teams are formed by managers, owners, and general managers (with help from others behind the scenes) trade players to try to ultimately win the World Series. During this work stoppage, teams are not allowed to buy and trade players. This offseason, there are a number of highly skilled, high talent players who are able to be traded. For example, Corey Seager, formerly of the Los Angeles Dodgers and recently traded to the Texas Rangers (before lockout), is a great shortstop. If his trade was not finalized before this event, then he would be without a team, and the Texas Rangers would be without a high-caliber player. The lockout can cause teams to be unprepared for the long a difficult season. 

Like all sports, baseball relies on money to pay players, coaches, and employees. This lockout does not allow Major League Baseball to pay their employees as well as the players and managers. Now, the players will receive money after this is over, but how will Major League Baseball make money after this fiasco? The MLB makes money in a number of different ways, the biggest being the games themselves and broadcasting revenue. In past lockouts, games have been canceled resulting in great losses of money. For this lockout, no one is sure how long it could last. The last one happened in 1994-1995 and canceled over 900 games including the World Series. Looking at the situation occurring now, no one knows what is going to happen. Let us all hope that cooler heads will prevail and we will be able to see another season of baseball this upcoming year.