Major League Baseball canceled more games on Wednesday and pushed back Opening Day until April 14 after talks on a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with players stalled again.
MLB locked out its players in December after failing to reach terms on a CBA and had canceled the first week of the regular season.
“Regrettably, after our second late-night bargaining session in a week, we remain without a deal,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “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.
“We worked hard to reach an agreement and offered a fair deal with significant improvements for the players and our fans,” Manfred added. “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.”
MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA), which represents the players, remain far apart on issues like luxury tax, minimum salaries and an international draft, according to media reports.
The 2022 season was scheduled to begin on March 31, and this year marks the first missed MLB games because of a labor dispute since the players’ strike of 1994-1995.
That work stoppage forced a premature end to one season, delayed the start of the next year’s and turned off fans, with attendance plummeting when play finally resumed.
“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,” Manfred said.
The MLBPA said in a statement that the MLB’s decision to cancel additional games was “completely unnecessary.”
“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,” the MLBPA said in a statement on Twitter. “Players want to play and we cannot wait to get back on the field for the best fans in the world.”