Major League Baseball cancels spring training games as lockdown bites | MLB

Major League Baseball on Friday canceled the first week of spring training games through March 4, in the first public acknowledgment of the disruption caused by the lockdown.

The announcement came with the work stoppage entering its 79th day, and a day later talks between management and the Major League Baseball Players Association lasted just 15 minutes.

Negotiators are due to resume talks on Monday. MLB said members of the owners’ bargaining committee will attend the seventh session on the central issues of the dispute since the lockout began Dec. 2.

Spring training was scheduled to begin this week, and the show schedule was scheduled to begin Feb. 26. There were 16 games scheduled that day, including the World Series champions Atlanta Braves taking on the Boston Red Sox in Florida and the Cleveland Guardians taking on the Cincinnati Reds in Arizona.

“We regret that, with no collective agreement in place, we have had to postpone the start of spring training games until Saturday, March 5, at the earliest,” MLB said in a statement.

“The 30 clubs are united in their strong desire to bring the players back onto the pitch and the fans back into the stands.”

MLB told the union it believed Feb. 28 was the latest possible date to reach an agreement that would allow for a timely start to the season. The union did not respond.

The players’ association was discussing players’ participation in the next discussion session.

For the most part, owners and players joined the negotiations through Zoom. Colorado Rockies general manager Dick Monfort, chairman of the owners’ labor policy committee, and free agent reliever Andrew Miller both attended the Jan. 24 session, the first in-person negotiation during the lockout. out.

“We are committed to reaching a fair agreement for each party,” MLB said. “Owners’ negotiating committee members will join a face-to-face meeting with the players’ association on Monday and will stay every day for the next week to negotiate and work hard to start the season on time.”

Spring training was scheduled to start on Wednesday.

“The clubs have adopted a uniform policy that provides a full refund option to fans who have purchased tickets from the clubs for all spring training games that are not held,” MLB said.

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