Take Me Out To The Game!
March 10, 2022 marked the date that the MLB lockout was ended. Whether you’re a North Sider or a South Sider, Chicago is baseball. No one wanted any time to be missed. Going to the ball park with your kids, family or your buddies, that’s Chicago in the summer. Smelling the hotdog, brats or polishes at the park. Waiting in line for that stadium give away or hoping you can catch a foul ball or get that autograph before the game. There’s just another feeling to hear the national anthem on hot summer day at the park.
For all these reasons it was like a punch to the gut when on December 2, 2021 at 12:01 am, we heard the news MLB owners voted unanimously to enact the lockout of baseball. To the average fan, it was hard to understand why. Why should our summer joy be taken away? Fans were due for some fun especially during this pandemic. Especially after we had last season cut down. We were finally going to have a full season. And just like that, it felt like something else was being taken away from us again.
No matter your thoughts on the players and their salaries, every union member should be protected by their CBA. Being in a union we have rights. Rights that are supposed to be protected and fought to have. Baseball players are athletes and yes, they get paid to play the kids game however, this shouldn’t take away from their right to have a fair CBA. If it was up to some fans and owners, players would just have to shut up and play. Play for peanuts just to be told “be grateful you get to play a game for a living.”
So what came out of this new CBA?
Let’s break it down this way:
I. It’s a 5 year CBA which expires December 1, 2026.
II. Expanded Playoff. 12 teams will make the playoffs starting 2022.
In 2023, all teams will play each other in both leagues, a more balanced schedule.
No more 163rd game to be played. A formula will be used to break ties.
III. The universal Designated Hitter will be used in both Leagues starting in 2022.
Seven inning double headers and ghost runners in extra innings are gone for now.
IV. The major league minimum salary will increase from $570,000 to $700,000 and increase by $20,000 per season through 2026.
Of course I can’t list the whole CBA but one other big change is the International Draft. This draft will begin in 2024. There will be no more compensated pay by teams for signing free agents. There will be 20 rounds with more than 600 players drafted.
Players will also participate in exhibition games in Mexico, Asia, Puerto Rico, The Dominican Republic, London, Paris, Little League Field and Field of Dreams.
These were some of the big changes. For each and everyone one of the changes an article or essay could be written. For now, let’s be grateful for our Unions and to have our American past time back. So hopefully I can see some of you at the ball park. Would love to talk about how we once, almost, lost baseball. Go White Sox!
South Shop Rep