Major League Baseball postpones start of spring training games

FILE - In this July 3, 2020, file photo, balls marked with Cactus League spring training logos are in a basket during Kansas City Royals baseball practice at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. Major League Baseball has slightly deadened its baseballs amid a years-long surge in home runs.
MLB anticipates the changes will be subtle, and a memo to teams last week cites an independent lab that found the new balls will fly 1 to 2 feet shorter on balls hit over 375 feet. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

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FILE - In this July 3, 2020, file photo, balls marked with Cactus League spring training logos are in a basket during Kansas City Royals baseball practice at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. Major League Baseball has slightly deadened its baseballs amid a years-long surge in home runs. MLB anticipates the changes will be subtle, and a memo to teams last week cites an independent lab that found the new balls will fly 1 to 2 feet shorter on balls hit over 375 feet. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

Collective bargaining agreement expired in December, and two sides have yet to reach a deal

Major League baseball announced Friday spring training games will start no earlier than March 5.

Owners and players have yet to come up with a new collective bargaining agreement. The Cincinnati Reds were scheduled to start play Feb. 26 in the Cactus League.

“All 30 Clubs are unified in their strong desire to bring players back to the field and fans back to the stands,” a Major League Baseball statement read. “The Clubs have adopted a uniform policy that provides an option for full refunds for fans who have purchased tickets from the Clubs to any Spring Training games that are not taking place. We are committed to reaching an agreement that is fair to each side. On Monday, members of the owners’ bargaining committee will join an in-person meeting with the Players Association and remain every day next week to negotiate and work hard towards starting the season on time.”

The Major League Baseball Players Association released its own statement after the announcement by MLB.

“MLB announced today that it ‘must’ postpone the start of spring training games. This is false,” the MLBPA statement read. “Nothing requires the league to delay the start of spring training, much like nothing required the league’s decision to implement the lockout in the first place. Despite these decisions by the league, players remain committed to the negotiating process.”

Major League Baseball shut down on Dec. 2 as the collective bargaining agreement between owners and players expired. This is the first work stoppage since 1994 when the World Series was canceled.

According to reports, MLB has told the players union there must be a deal by Feb. 28 for the 2022 season to start on time March 31.

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