First Pitch: Day Forty – Lockout

Forty days.

There’s something about the word forty that just feels off.

Every single incident to this point that involves the word “four” includes the letter “U.”

Not forty.

Up until this point, you just expect everything to go on as it has before. And then there’s no U anymore, leaving nothing but a fort to protect the new way, which we all know is only temporary. But that will be hard to keep in mind on day forty one, forty two, and so on.

We’re on day forty of MLB owners putting up their fort. This lockout protected MLB owners from having to negotiate with the players without the assistance of a ridiculous power move aimed to sway the public in their favor.

When the lockout started, the belief was that Spring Training would be delayed if an agreement wasn’t reached by February 1st, and the regular season would be delayed if an agreement wasn’t reached by March 1st.

Does anyone expect Spring Training to start on time at this point, on January 10th, when there has been no meaningful movement or discussions reported since the lockout began forty days ago?

Does anyone else think the regular season is going to be delayed?

The owners began this process by playing games and negotiating through the public. They held off core economic negotiations until January, and now we’re a third of the way through January with no indication of any progress.

Is there any sign that the MLB owners are finished playing games? Is there any sign that MLB owners are willing to make concessions from the massive gains they’ve accumulated over the last decade?

My prediction is that the owners will delay until the absolute last minute of the soft deadline of February 1st, and when the players don’t budge, the owners will blame the players in public.

Why do I think this?

It’s literally the playbook for every negotiation done from the team side. Remember when the draft signing deadline was two months after the draft, and teams would wait until 11:59 PM EST on that deadline to sign their top players? Can anyone argue that this negotiation is being treated any different, from what we’ve seen on the public side?

My prediction beyond this is that the season will be delayed.

Why do I think this?

Because the owners have a lot more to lose by giving into player demands than they do from delaying the regular season.

Take Bob Nutting, for example. He doesn’t need money from the Pittsburgh Pirates. He routinely claims that he doesn’t take profits from the team. And honestly, why would he? It would devalue the organization — and selling at a high value eventually is the payoff for owners. He also has no issue getting money from less valuable ventures. He recently sold his ski resorts for $125 million, so he should be able to float his bills through an extended lockout.

One of the poorest, lowest spending teams in baseball has an owner who can easily sustain a short-term financial hit from the loss of baseball.

That’s why the players are in trouble. How many of them can actually sustain the same loss? In a country where everyone lives up to their current means, putting most people in a paycheck-to-paycheck situation, how many players will be in trouble when their high salaries aren’t being paid?

How much of a reserve fund does the MLBPA have, and is it bigger than the massive reserves of the MLB owners, who own enough outside of Major League Baseball to not have to worry about short-term profits from Major League Baseball?

My thought from the start was that this would be a long process, with the 2022 season impacted in some way. So far, I’ve yet to see anything that would make me think different.

Daily Links

**Winter Leagues: A Recap of the Week in Winter Ball

**Pirates Will Reportedly Land a Second Top International Prospect Next Weekend

Last Week on Pirates Prospects

**The Pirates Are Implementing an Individualized and Collaborative Player Development System

**Three Examples of Individual Player Development and How They Changed in the Pirates System

**The Players Are Driving the Bus, But the Pirates Development Coaches Are the GPS

**Looking Ahead at the Pirates’ 2022 System: Bradenton Marauders

**The Forgotten Prospect: Cody Bolton Set For A 2022 Revenge Tour

**Electric Jared Jones Ahead Of The Curve In Debut Season

**Randy Romero Shows Better Results Through Consistent Play and a More Focused Approach

**PBN Around the Horn: Three Prospects Who Could Breakout in 2022

**The Odyssey of Happy Oliveros

**Local Prep Prospect Cole Young: “Some Adam Frazier in this profile”

**This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History: January 10th, George Strickland and Cliff Chambers

**Card of the Day: 1952 Bowman George Strickland

PBN Updates

First Pitch: PRE-SALE for The 2022 Guide and The 1890 Pittsburgh Alleghenys Books

Song of the Day

Last Week on First Pitch

MONDAY: The Road Ahead

TUESDAY: This Week on Pirates Prospects

WEDNESDAY: The New Pirates Prospects


FRIDAY: Baseball Memories

SATURDAY: Little Oblivions

SUNDAY: Pursuit

This Week on First Pitch

MONDAY: Lockout

TUESDAY: This Week on Pirates Prospects

WEDNESDAY: Site Updates

THURSDAY: Marvel/Comics – I’m going to do my Hawkeye review this week.

FRIDAY: Baseball Memories


SUNDAY: Happiness

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