The Curious Case of the MLB CBA

Rob Manfred appears to be doing everything he can to delay the season.

Connor Smith, Staff Writer

The 2022-2023 Major League baseball season is in jeopardy of a lockout considering as of right now no player is under contract.

The collective bargaining agreement, or CBA, expired a few weeks ago and has been the talk of the town if you disregard all the Hall of Fame ballots.

When the CBA expires, it means the league comes to a screeching halt. Think of the MLB players as a union, whose contract with the MLB for their names and likeness expires after a certain amount of years, and they have to negotiate it again.

The problem is the commissioner of the league is making those negotiations very difficult. Rob Manfred is known to be one of the most stubborn, difficult commissioners in MLB history and a fall from grace after the retirement of Bud Selig.

Manfred has been linked to all sorts of internal issues, such as the problem with illegal substances in pitching, the Astros’ scandal, nationwide television blackouts, and ultimately failing to let players market themselves in order to garner a larger audience for the league.

The CBA aims to change a few rules : resolve the problem of the universal designated hitter, negotiate minor league salary, and allow more freedom of press and ability to express oneself during and after games.

A lot of players have taken to social media to express the opinions that they cherish about changes in the league that need to be made; yet, the all-knowing MLB doesn’t seem to care. All they care about, it seems, is whatever makes them the most money. 

News surrounding the big meeting on Thursday, January 13th is that it is actually going to happen. The last two confirmed “meetings” were a smoke screen started by Manfred to make it look like the agreement was headed in the right direction. 

When the CBA expires, it means the league comes to a screeching halt.

The Universal DH should have some news surrounding its status in the next day or two. Probably the most controversial topic that will be addressed during the meeting seemed as if it was a given for the upcoming season. Now that might be out the window.

The long-awaited minor league living conditions bargain has started, and many people are happy just to get the ball rolling, let alone make any serious changes.

Minor leaguers have been stuck working winter jobs and staying in terrible housing with long, un-air-conditioned bus rides to games. With the billionaire owners shoveling money into their pockets, minor leaguers certainly deserve more, especially considering the fact that they have a respetable fanbase..

Freedom of the press has been a serious issue as of late, as more and more players want to express themselves on the field. Baseball is a kids’ game, and one should have fun playing it. So why not celebrate after you strike someone out or hit a long home run? 

Naturally, self-marketing has become more popular around the baseball community and sparked problems with the league over several players, but one player the most. Trevor Bauer — one of the most controversial sports figures — was quoted saying Manfred did not allow him to wear cleats with special designs on them mocking the Astros or even have his personal brand logo present in post-game interviews. 

Manfred currently is driving the game’s popularity into the ground and if he continues, baseball could fall off a cliff like it did back in the early 1980s.

So will there be a baseball season this year?

While it’s unlikely that the entire season gets postponed, a delayed start could be in order as players try to talk to the brick wall that is the Manfred commissioner era.