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MLB News: ESPN’s Buster Olney Gives Bleak Outlook on the Possibility of a Lockout in 2022

Winter is coming, and it could last a very long time in MLB.



Major League Baseball has a huge problem. It’s not the foreign substance issue or an overall lack of offense. In fact, it really has nothing to do with what’s happening on the field. MLB is in a war with their own players, and it could get very ugly soon. 

The collective bargaining agreement between MLB and the Player’s Union is set to expire at the end of this year. While many hope the 2 sides can come to an agreement peacefully, the outlook is bleak. 

We spoke with ESPN’s Buster Olney this week about many things around MLB, including the foreign substance issue. But according to the veteran reporter, the relationship between the two sides is at an all-time low. And that includes the strike that brought the sport to a halt in 1994. 

At the owner’s meetings a couple of weeks ago, the conversation among the owners was not whether or not there is going to be a lock, it was WHEN there was going to be a lockout. …I gotta tell you guys, the relationship between the two sides is by far the worst that I have ever seen. And I covered a strike in 94 and 95.

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The foreign substance issue is just the latest in a long line of grievances between MLB and the players. We’ve already heard from dozens of players from across the league that said they would have liked to have been involved in the conversation on the issue. But according to Olney, that’s a reoccurring theme. 

What makes it so so bad is that these two sides don’t even talk. There’s some conversation but there’s not a collaboration. …they’ve made the choice to essentially not engage, and I don’t understand why. I don’t think it’s working for them. 

At this point, it feels like a forgone conclusion that there will be some sort of lockout prior to the 2022 season. The only hope at this point is that the two sides will be able to come to an agreement in time to get the season going next year. 

Don’t hold your breath baseball fans. 

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. Sadly, I tend to agree with Olney, but we fans have one thing working in our favor that didn’t exist in 94’-95’. The players back then made really good money. The players today are stinking rich! The mlb min. In 94’ was just over 100K, today it’s pushing $570K. The avg wage in America has about doubled in that time period while mlb players has more than quadrupled. A big chunk of the Union’s players is made up of players in that lower tier. They have bills and need to work! Secondly, teams are now owned by business conglomerates, not old school baseball folks and their businesses are worth billions! And they need to keep generating cash flow. Especially after the last couple of years. I guess it’s a long winded way to say, both sides have a LOT to lose!
    Still I’m pessimistic but hopefully cooler heads will prevail?

  2. If there is a stoppage good by MLB. I didn’t watch or follow MLB for 5 years after 1994. I love MLB but this is stupid. Ask players from 1994 what it was like. If a stoppage happens good bye MLB! Be careful!

  3. For almost 50 years now MLB has been playing by different rules for each league which is DEAD WRONG! The only major sport to do so with the AL having a DH and no DH in the NL. Let’s start by making this an EVEN playing field for both sides for crying out loud. THE BIGGEST BLUNDER MLB made this year is to remove the DH from the NL. They want to improve offense? Bring DH back to NL permanently!. The big issue now is implementing the foreign substance crackdown in the middle of the season while all along, Manfred FAILED to properly punish those spineless Astro players for that huge cheating scandal back in 2017.

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