The odds of Major League Baseball’s regular season opening on March 31, as planned, appeared to dwindle Thursday.when talks to end the lockout lasted barely 15 minutes, after a four-day hiatus.
Which it was supposed to be the second day of spring trainingwas instead the 78th day of the second longest break of labors in the history of the Major Leagues (MLB).
After what was only the sixth meeting on global economic issues since the strike began on December 2, the parties had different interpretations about the brevity of the meeting.
The union said that the duration did not have much meaning, while the leaders of the clubs attributed the transience to the fact that there was nothing to talk about.
Although there is one session scheduled for this Friday on secondary issues, no date has been set for resuming the main talks. The two parties have approximately two weeks left to reach an agreement that allows a sufficiently long preseason before a normal campaign.
“I just hope that something can be resolved quickly,” said the Yankees infielder, DJ Le Mahieu, before the duel and shortly after training with teammate Aaron Judge on a college field in Tampa, Florida. “Baseball becomes a business. It’s not that much fun, but it’s definitely something that needs to happen.”
In this point, MLB has not even publicly acknowledged that preseason games will not start on February 26, as scheduled. The union told MLB that it was willing to hold daily meetings next week.
There were no discussions on key issues, such as the luxury tax, including its amounts and the cap to apply it; Minimum salary; the union’s proposal to reduce income sharing, and the accusations of the players, who consider that the owners have manipulated their service time. The two sides remain far apart in all those areas and in the postseason. The owners want to expand the playoffs from 10 to 14 clubs, while the players offer 12.