After a ninety-nine day owner-imposed lockout and two missed weeks of spring training, Major League Baseball is on track to open the season on April 7th, with all teams playing their first game by the following day.
After the collective bargaining agreement between the MLB Players Union and the team owners expired in December, the players were then locked out of using team facilities while negotiations took place. Among the top issues were the payment of minor league players, conditions in minor league stadiums, and allowing young players to reach free agency earlier in their careers and have more control over their futures in baseball.
The owners and commissioner of Major League Baseball, Rob Manfred, imposed the lockout as a means of creating leverage with the players to come to an agreement that worked for both sides.
The lockout, which could have been resolved during the offseason, resulted in the cancellation of about two weeks worth of spring training games at the end of February and beginning of March, and forced the postponement of opening day, originally scheduled for the last weekend of March, and the cancellation of games scheduled for the first week of April. Manfred initially said that these games would not be made up, though he eventually changed his tune.
Major League Baseball was at risk of not playing a full season for the second time in three years (the 2020 season was shortened to sixty games due to the pandemic), though thankfully, the players union and the ownerships were able to come to a tentative agreement at the eleventh hour. Though there are imperfections in the collective bargaining agreement, baseball fans everywhere are happy that their favorite game is back on track.