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Major League Baseball cancels first week of regular season games

MLBPA response: “Players and fans around the world who love baseball are disgusted, but sadly not surprised.”

MLB Owners Meetings Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Major League Baseball canceled games for the first week of the 2022 regular season, commissioner Rob Manfred said in a press conference on Tuesday. Technically it’s the first time a labor work stoppage has cost the league regular season games in 27 years, when the strike from the previous year wiped out the first 18 games of the 1995 season.

Negotiations between players and owners in Jupiter, Florida ended without an agreement. Tuesday was the ninth straight day of bargaining at Roger Dean Stadium, the 90th day of the league-imposed lockout.

Players rejected the owners last offer, which Manfred described as not an impasse in a legal sense. Owners and players will resume negotiations in New York, at a date to be determined.

“The calendar dictates that we’re not going to be able to play the first two series of the regular season and those games are officially canceled,” Manfred said in a televised press conference.

“Players and fans around the world who love baseball are disgusted, but sadly not surprised,” said the players union in a statement.

Major league spring training was already pushed back to start no earlier than March 8, a date that is now in question as well. Manfred said only 23 days of spring training was not enough for camps to meaningfully operate.

For the Dodgers, that means the first week of games, a seven-game homestand against the Rockies and Diamondbacks, are wiped out. The games will not be made up, which sets up yet another topic to negotiate with the players, who will likely want some way to play, and get paid for, a full, 162-game schedule, somehow.

“Our position is that games that are not played, the players will not get paid for,” Manfred said Tuesday.

The Dodgers’ revised schedule now includes 155 games, beginning with a weekend series against the Rockies, starting on Friday, April 8 at Coors Field in Denver. But there needs to be an agreement in place before there are games.