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MLB cancels second week of 2022 regular season

Opening day pushed back to April 14

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Major League Baseball on Wednesday canceled two more series, officially wiping out the first two weeks of the original schedule. Opening day now will be no earlier than Thursday, April 14.

Owners on Monday set a deadline to reach a deal by Tuesday in order to have a 162-game season and full-season pay. Reps for players and owners negotiated well into Tuesday, but could not reach a deal in time.

“In a last-ditch effort to preserve a 162-game season, this week we have made good-faith proposals that address the specific concerns voiced by the MLBPA and would have allowed the players to return to the field immediately. The Clubs went to extraordinary lengths to meet the substantial demands of the MLBPA,” commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “On the key economic issues that have posed stumbling blocks, the Clubs proposed ways to bridge gaps to preserve a full schedule. Regrettably, after our second late-night bargaining session in a week, we remain without a deal.”

In response, the MLB Players Association said, “The owners’ decision to cancel additional games is completely unnecessary. After making a set of comprehensive proposals to the league earlier this afternoon, and being told substantive responses were forthcoming, Players have yet to hear back.”

On Wednesday the key sticking point appeared to be an international draft, which the players didn’t want.

MLB did not officially mention the three choices offered to the players union, but Manfred’s statement ended with, “We have the utmost respect for our players and hope they will ultimately choose to accept the fair agreement they have been offered.”

On March 1, after nine days of in-person bargaining between representatives for players and owners in Jupiter, Florida, Manfred canceled the first two series of the season.

For the Dodgers, the second week of cancellations means saying goodbye to a five-game road trip that included three games against the Rockies at Coors Field from April 8-10 and a two-game interleague series against the Twins in Minnesota on April 12-13. To date, 12 Dodgers games have been canceled, leaving 150 games remaining on the schedule.

But even getting to regular season games on April 14 would require movement in labor negotiations.

If players and owners can somehow reach a deal, it would take a few days for the collective bargaining agreement to get ratified before union members could report to spring training. If MLB wants four weeks of exhibitions to properly prepare for a regular season, it would take essentially one month between a new CBA and opening day.

To date, the start of spring training games has been pushed back four times, originally scheduled to start on February 26 but now the plan is for exhibition games to start no earlier than March 18.

With the latest cancellations, the Dodgers are scheduled to start the season at home against the Reds on April 14, the start of a four-game series and a seven-game homestand that also has Atlanta coming to Dodger Stadium. Friday, April 15 is the 75th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s major league debut at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn.

If this schedule holds, the teams in the National League West will play a different number of games. The Dodgers and Diamondbacks have 150 games remaining, the Padres and Giants have 149 games (with seven San Diego-San Francisco games erased to date), and the Rockies slated to play 151 games.

NL West schedule changes

Team Games remaining Home Away Games lost
Team Games remaining Home Away Games lost
Dodgers 150 74 76 v. COL, v. AZ, at COL, at MIN
Giants 149 75 74 at SD, at Mil, v. MIA, v. SD
Padres 149 75 74 v. SF, v. COL, at AZ, at SF
D-backs 150 75 75 at MIL, at LA, v. SD, v. HOU
Rockies 151 78 73 at LA, at SD, v. LA, at TEX