Trivia:Which of the major North American leagues had the longest lockout?
*Answer at the bottom
One Step Forward, Two Steps Back
The turn of the calendar marked one month of the current MLB lockout, ending 25 years of peace between the MLB and MLB Players Association.
The sides have yet to meet during the now 40-day lockout, and spring training is supposed to start in a month.
Blast from the past: The two sides don’t pull any punches. Several of their lockouts have held the record for the longest in major sports history, with the 1994-95 strike reigning supreme.
Lasted 232 days.
Canceled ~950 games.
Impacted two seasons.
Canceled the 1994 World Series.
But, what exactly is the 2022 version about?
The terms: The players and league need to hash out a bunch of issues – mainly economic – before they play together nicely again. These three top the list:
Years to free agency: MLB contracts are eye-popping, but players have to stick around a while to get those huge deals. Players can only become a full free agent after six years of MLB "service time," which can be manipulated...
Service time manipulation: Teams regularly keep players in the minors so they don't earn a full year of "service time," defined as time spent in the Majors. This actually delays a player's free agency by a full year, giving the team another year of control and causing the player to earn less money.
It doesn't pay to win: Only one-third of a team's revenue comes from performance-driven items like ticket and merch sales. Basically, teams aren't incentivized to win because as they spend dramatically more on the best players, revenue doesn't necessarily rise at the same rate or faster.
What’s on deck? The MLB and the MLBPA plan to have their first bargaining talks tomorrow (1/13). Hopefully they last longer than the 15-minute meeting back in early December.
Until an agreement is reached, no trades can be made, no players can enter team facilities, and no free agents can be signed.
Panic button: 5/10. It might be time to think twice about that Cactus or Grapefruit league game you were going to. But, there’s plenty of time between now and Opening Day on March 31st.
WATER COOLER TALK
🏈 Not wanting to miss out on the head coach firing spree, the New York Giants let go of coach Joe Judge after two seasons at the helm.
New York had just two coaches from 1987-2015 (Fassel, Coughlin). They’ve had three in the past six years (McAdoo, Shurmer, Judge).
Joe Judge, offensive analyst at the University of Alabama, has a nice ring to it.
🏈 Alabama star receiver Jameson Williams suffered a torn ACL during the Crimson Tide's 33-18 Natty defeat.
Williams is expected to make a full recovery and still go in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
⛳️ Legendary golfer Tom Watson, who won The Masters twice in his career, will join Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player as an honorary Masters starter.
Watson will be the 11th player to participate in the ceremony. Lee Elder, who recently passed, joined Nicklaus and Player last year.
Wild in Waco
(12-3)#19 Texas Tech65vs. (15-1) #1 Baylor 62
Hours after becoming the last remaining undefeated Power Five team, Baylor’s 21 game run came to an end at the hands of the Red Raiders.
It’s the second top-10 win of the week for Texas Tech, who knocked off then #6 Kansas five days ago.
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C. The 2004-2005 NHL lockout lasted 10 months and 6 days, resulting in the cancellation of the entire ‘04-‘05 season and postseason. It’s the only time a major North American pro sports league missed an entire season and postseason due to a lockout.