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Thursday lockout update: Everyone is mad

The players and owners are mad at each other

‘View of Highgate from Hampstead Heath’, early 19th century. Artist: John Constable Photo by Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images

MLB and the MLBPA met again Thursday it what reports are indicating were not productive meetings.

The owners are mad at the players, the players are mad at the owners, the writers are mad they are writing about this instead of covering baseball.

Everyone is mad.

The players’ proposal today reportedly did not show much movement from their last proposal, with the owners apparently now mad that, after Rob Manfred made a big show of saying there would be games canceled and not made up if there’s not a deal by February 28, the union didn’t back down.

The players are mad that the owners dicked around for almost two months after locking them out, and now have set a unilateral artificial deadline for a deal to be done, or else they’ll start canceling games. Oh, and the owners haven’t really moved much from their proposals, either.

I expect to see either tomorrow or Saturday the owners make decent sized concessions in the minimum salary and the pre-arbitration pool, moves that won’t cost them that much money, while holding firm on the Collective Balance Tax, which, under the owners’ current proposal, would see the threshold for when the tax would be paid stay largely flat, while increasing the financial penalties for exceeding the cap.

It has been pointed out that the CBT officially ended as of December 1, 2021. Thus, if the owners lifted the lockout, there would be no CBT while negotiations continued. That probably goes a long way towards explaining the decision to lock the players out immediately.