Baseball cancels first two regular season series

***NOTE: This was a daily running update on the negotiations when they were in Jupiter. It ended with the announcement by Rob Manfred that regular season would start late. For the latest Cardinals stories CLICK HERE.

 

For Rob Rains’ update on Tuesday March 1, 2022 announcement that baseball will start the regular season late: CLICK HERE


(Original article)– Update has more information.

Compiled by STLSportsPage.com staff

Updates to Original Story (below): Each day we will post if there are any updates to the baseball negotiations. STLSportsPage.com is in Jupiter and will stay on top of it. The best way to get our updates is by following @RobRains on Twitter. 

For real-time reports follow @Chelsea_ Janes of the Washington Post who has been covering the negotiations from the start. We are covering it from the Cardinals and Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium perspective.

Tuesday March 1

End of the day update: The owners and players could not come up with an agreement so baseball commissioner Rob Manfred announced the cancellation of some regular season games– the first two series for each team are cancelled. For more information on today’s negotiations and Rob Rains’ analysis and speculation CLICK HERE.

3:15 p.m.

Both MLB and MLBPA representatives met at the stadium at 10 a.m. on Tuesday in hopes of coming together. There is still not an agreement between MLB and MLBPA. Last night and this morning there was optimism and hope but the negotiations today seem to have taken a turn.  The “deadline” was moved back to 5 p.m. on Tuesday. According to Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post, who has been covering the negotiations from the start, “An MLB official said the MLBPA’s tone changed dramatically between last night and this afternoon. ‘We will be making our best offer before the 5 pm deadline to the MLBPA that we think is fair for players and clubs.” Take it or leave it, apparently.'”

She added: “So here we are, with both sides showing you that what they care about in these final hours is PR, not a deal.”

For more on Tuesday’s announcement CLICK HERE.

Monday Feb. 28

No one can deny that both MLB and MLBPA worked really hard to get an agreement. They worked so hard they were still at it in the wee hours of the morning.

The meetings started this morning (Monday) at 10 a.m. and went well into the evening. Monday was the self-imposed deadline that  MLB has set that if there is not an agreement today the regular season will start late. Several of the people involved had flights out later in the day so they were hoping the early start would help. They ended up changing their flights as the talks went longer into the evening.

It seemed like for a time there ws a buzz going on around Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium–as if something was about to happen. Fans were milling around getting restless. “We want baseball!”one shouted. Everyone was wondering how the negotiations would work out and then on the other side of the stadium in the morning Derek Jeter quit as CEO of the Marlins, who share the stadium with Cardinals. Tom Verducci was doing live shots for MLB Network as was Jon Heyman. Several other TV cameras were there and as the day wore on more media came.

At the front of the stadium there was optimism, at least on Roger Dean’s part: two ticket windows were open and the Team Store was open.

On the light poles, they were putting up the Spring Training signs (shown right). Workers were seen working on the other areas outside the stadium as well as in the concession stand area.

The discussions went well into the evening. At about 8 p.m. someone came out from the MLB side and said “not done” as they walked by. There was a large amount of media gathered at the gate.

Even though Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium has the large lights for night baseball, they had none turned on so  everyone was waiting outside in the dark– but at times there seemed to be more optimism.

About 9:15 on Monday night, the two sides were still talking but reportedly remain far apart on several key issues. At the time it was unknown if MLB will extend deadline for canceling games, or if they could talk more tomorrow.

At midnight, one o’clock, two o’clock they were still talking. At 3 a.m. Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post, who has been covering the negotiations since the start tweeted: “Sides are done for the night, but not done for good… Union indicated a belief that MLB showed a willingness to get a deal today. All progress fluid because agreements contingent on all the pieces falling into place. But 12-team playoff seems doable for both sides at the moment. All of this is fragile.”

 

Sunday Feb. 27

Sunday started out with a big crowd outside the fence to the Roger Dean Chevrolet Parking lot. Every day more fans gather and they hope for autographs from the players who gather at the center in order to walk in together. The photo shown left– taken by Donna Erhardt a Cardinals fan who is down here with her husband Mike– shows the enthusiastic group. They were rewarded by Andrew Miller coming up to sign before he went in.

Both sides met for less than 25 minutes and it appeared talks had broken off but they were still in the building so everyone stayed around. Later in the day after 3 p.m. they had another meeting. They are still talking.

The effects the lockout and dragged out talks is having on fans is becoming apparent as more are arriving  because when they made their reservations they were hoping they could attend games.

We met the Cottom family from Southern Illinois outside the stadium. They had their Cardinals clothes on and were hoping to at least get a tour of the stadium which was closed. The Team Store was closed as was the ticket window on Sunday.  Greg and Jamie Cottom are shown, left with their two sons Colton and Caden and though they scheduled their trip to see the spring training opener they didn’t see any games.

“We drove down,,” said Greg Cottom, “iI was unfortunate for us it happened at this time. We wish they could reach an agreement  and get back to baseball.”

We asked them if this experience would have any effect on their feelings on baseball.

“No, we love baseball,” said Jamie Cottom. “It doesn’t change our opinions.”

The parents were trying to look at it from an upbeat perspective, but their son Caden broke in, “We are heartbroken that we could not see a game.”
The day ended a little before 8 p.m. local time. Tomorrow is the self-imposed deadline that MLB set regarding making a deal and not having to start the regular season late.
Chelsea Janes, who has been covering the talks for the Washington Post since the beginning tweeted this at the end of the day:
Union was similarly careful with details today, cautioned that the sides are still apart on almost every issue and haven’t agreed completely on any one issue yet.

Saturday Feb. 26

Saturday’s meetings started an hour early than they have been starting all week with players and owners convening at noon. There seems to be a larger contingent of fans outside. The same thing happens every day: Tony Clark, the Executive Director of the Major League Baseball Players Association arrives stands facing with his back away from the fans. Bruce Meyer the lead negotiator for MLBPA joins him and the players assemble. They all walk in together in a unified statement. Clark is the tall one with the suit and Meyer is over his left shoulder in the photo, right.

On Saturday, Brandon Nimmo of the Mets (shown left) arrived a few minutes after the group went inside. He parked his car and looked straight over at the fans gathered at the fence and walked right over to them. Unfortunately for many of the fans who had been there and left after the players went in they missed him but he smiled and talked and posed for photos with all the fans who were there.

“Nimmo is probably one of the nicest guys out there,” one fan said. After he stayed until everyone was happy he walked into the stadium.

Chelsea Janes tweeted “The union had a long Zoom with their players this morning then made the league a counter offer on multiple issues, per a person involved. League is talking about that offer now.”

Yesterday the mood seemed so optimistic on both sides, but after the players left for the day on Saturday, Janes tweeted:  “Players are currently considering walking away from the table, per a person familiar with their plans. Made what they felt was a substantive offer and owners rejected it. Players furious. …And a day after optimism that a deal on the draft lottery was close, MLB came back this morning and said they wouldn’t agree to union proposal if union didn’t agree to 14-team expanded playoffs (union wants 12).”

Janes tweeted this at the end of the day: Still no word on players’ plans for tomorrow. MLB’s take on their proposal is that, much like MLBPA told league they would never accept a salary cap, MLB told union they wouldn’t expand super two or change revenue sharing. MLB argues it has avoided proposing a hard cap. (Technically true, though the players believe the owners’ call of increased tax rates — which they reduced a bit today — make the CBT a salary cap by another name). MLB has proposed to remove recidivism penalties from the CBT enforcement, and therefore argues that the rates are higher in exchange for the fact that teams no longer have to try to dip below the threshold every couple years to avoid bigger penalties. Union… well, doesn’t think that trade is fair. Sides remain about 30M apart on where CBT threshold should start next year.

Friday Feb. 25

Friday’s negotiations lasted past the dinner hour and as you can see from the photo of the media who were there it was dark when it ended. The biggest news of the day is MLB cancelled three more Spring Training games, so all games are cancelled through March 7th, making the earliest they would play a. game at this point is March 8th.

Friday was the first day since the Florida negotiations began that Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt was not present.

As far as the negotiations went, all seemed to agree there was a little progress made.  Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post tweeted: “First report is that today yielded enough progress on draft order issue that they are close to agreeing on that issue and “closing it out.” Not quite there yet, though, per person involved. And they might start talking earlier tomorrow, TBD.”

Commissioner Rob Manfred showed up for the first time this week and had a one-on-one meeting with Tony Clark, the Union’s executive director.

Thursday Feb. 24

6 p.m. The day ended without an agreement and both sides plan to go at it again tomorrow at 1 p.m. According to Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post , “Union modified two aspects of its proposals today. Stayed at 7 for the draft lottery but modified their proposal about draft order to reduce penalties on small market teams who lose in back-to-back years (had been a league concern that system would punish teams that were just bad and not tanking). Second part was narrowing pool of players rewarded with an extra year of service time under their proposal to combat manipulation. Last proposal would have given 29 players over last five years an extra year. This one would have given it to 20 players.”

Janes has been covering the negotiations. For good coverage,  follow her on Twitter:@chelsea_janes

1 p.m. The players side met as they do every day in the parking lot on the Cardinals side at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. The head of the MLPBA Tony Clark  as well as Bruce Meyer, the lead negotiator for the MLBPA get there early and wait in the center of the lot and the players arrive so they can all walk in together. Same scene as it’s been all week: fans hoping to get autographs and media hoping to get photos and videos. Clark usually faces away from the crowd making it hard to get a head-on photo but today he did turn his head a bit in the photo, shown right.

 

Wednesday Feb. 23

They met on Wednesday beginning at 1 p.m. about four hours later the meetings broke off for the day. Every day before they go in they meet Tony Clark, Executive Director of the Major League Baseball Players Association in the parking lot and go in together. Clark is shown in the photo, right, with the white beard.

According to Jesse Rodgers, of ESPN “The league raised its minimum salary offer today by 10k for each year of the deal, according to sources. Last offer started at $630k. Would now be $640k. Then go up by $10k each year.”

According to Jeff Passan: “Five days before the deadline MLB says will postpone regular-season games, here’s the gap between the sides in their latest proposals: CBT: $31M Pre-arb bonus pool: $95M Minimum salary: $135K/player Draft lottery: 3 picks”

This also from Jesse Rodgers: “MLB is clear on this point: If there isn’t a deal by Monday, games will be cancelled and will not be made up. The season will be less than 162 games and players will not be paid for a full season, no matter what.”

Tuesday Feb. 22

Representatives from MLB and MLBPA went at it again at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on Tuesday starting at 1 p.m. and the players left about 5 pm.

More national media has arrived.

The St. Louis connection– Matt Scherzer the Washington Nationals’ pitcher who is from St. Louis and Paul Goldschmidt of the Cardinals greeted each other and stopped for a conversation. The photo, right shows them in the parking lot.

 

The meetings got underway about 1 p.m. local (Jupiter) time. Before the meeting, players met in the parking lot. They all walked in together when it was time for the media to start, shown left.

As they were meandering in the parking lot, there were many fans outside the fences hoping to get a glimpse of the players and many with baseballs hoping for autographs.

According to reports MLB suggested a mediator again which MLPBA does not want.

Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post, posted: “Talks done for the day. Union made proposal. Asked for raise of the minimums from previous numbers. Lowered draft lottery including 8 teams to 7 teams. Dropped from asking 80 percent of players with two years of service time hitting arb to 75 percent, per person familiar.”

They will meet again on Wednesday.

 

Monday Feb. 21

Both sides met for at least four hours. The media is camped outside the gates and no one from either the team side or the players’ side is coming out with updates so for the information on negotiations, everyone is relying on the tips some of the national media are receiving from agent sources.

Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt, Jr. was seen coming out of Roger Dean and he waved to the small crowd but did not comment.

At the end of the day, Jeff Passan of ESPN reported:  “MLB today withdrew its request of the union to control — and potentially reduce — the number of minor league jobs, as  Evan Dreilich said. The league could try to unilaterally going forward, but it won’t do so in 2022 and at the moment does not have plans to pursue it in 2023… Along with the withdrawal of the minor league playing jobs proposal, MLB pulled its offer to limit options to five. This is not insignificant. The constant shuttling between the big leagues and AAA is a quality-of-life issue for players, who have proposed a max of four options.”

Original Story:

It all started on Dec. 2, 2021 when the MLB owners voted to initiate the “lockout” after the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the players expired Dec. 1. Since then the talks between the two sides MLB and MLBPA have been basically non-existent– until this week. Short angry meetings or presentations of proposals were taking place sporadically but both sides agreed to meet every day this week for as long as necessary in hopes of reaching an agreement.

STLSportsPage.com arrived at Spring Training in time to watch what would be the first practice but MLB announced they would push back the start of spring training and that the games scheduled from Feb. 26 to March 4 will be cancelled. A full refund will be given to fans who purchased tickets for the first week.

As reported by Rob Rains on STLSpotsPage.com some of the big league players are in Florida and are working out on their own and the Minor League camps are open.

Daily work in the Cardinals office seems to be going on as John Mozeliak and Bill DeWitt have been seen coming and going. Mozeliak, shown left, looked over at the reporters and crowd and offered a few pleasantries but kept going.

While the minor league players are practicing, the only major league players who have been allowed to show up at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium are the ones involved in the negotiations, including St. Louis Cardinals’ Paul Goldschmidt, and Max Scherzer, originally from Chesterfield, Missouri who now plays for the Mets. Those two along with others were spotted going inside Roger Dean for the negotiations on Monday.

The Jupiter home of the Cardinals and Miami Marlins during a normal Spring Training season has been turned into a negotiation headquarters for a week.The big goal is to be able to work out the agreement in time for the regular season to start on time. A small group of reporters have been gathered outside the locked gates awaiting news, as well as fans hoping for autographs are also there.

One interesting sidebar in all of this is how there are a few players who fall into a category that despite the lockout not being on 40-man roster is good news for them. To read Rob Rains’ story on that: CLICK HERE.

We will post any updates here.

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For the latest news and features in St. Louis Sports check out STLSportsPage.com. Rob Rains, Editor.