“As expected, Major League Baseball and its players association did not find common ground on a collective bargaining agreement by 11:59 p.m. ET Wednesday night,” as The Athletic is reporting in an email newsletter. “The league is closed for business for the first time in 26 years. We have a lockout. Here’s a 30-second guide to our new reality. Why?
“The players want a larger share of the revenue. Historically it has hovered around 50-50 in the modern era. Currently, owners get 57 percent while the players receive 43 percent.
“The players also want to end service time manipulation, or diminish its effect on their earning power. We’ve seen it repeatedly — young stars shelved in the minor leagues longer than necessary. Clubs game the system in order to depress salary and keep a player under team control longer.
“Finally: the union wants to incentivize competition. The league has seen more teams outright tank in the last few years, which has an adverse effect on the on-field product and on player salaries. No tanking team is going to line up to pay a mid-tier free agent; so where do those guys play? There are myriad possible solutions, but the sides can’t seem to agree on a route.
“So, what do we do now? Until an agreement is reached, coaches and front office personnel will not be able to communicate with players. No one can sign contracts. No offseason training allowed. None of it.
“For now, we wait. Talks will resume immediately. Let’s hope this lockout isn’t too long.”
BTW, if you are a sports fan, I recommend a subscription to the Athletic, or at least checking it out. The subscription-based website is part of a growing publishing trend. The writing and analysis is top-notch.