Start of Major League Baseball Season has been pushed back to at least April 14

MLB postpones Opening Day until at least April 14 amid lockout
from Zac Wassink, with

Even as MLB and the MLB Players Association held opposing views regarding an international draft, there was some hope Wednesday that the two sides could come to an agreement to end the lockout that caused the cancellation of at least the first two series of the regular season and wiped out spring training games through March 18.

That hope officially disappeared early Wednesday evening when MLB commissioner Rob Manfred confirmed via a statement that fans won’t get Opening Day before mid-April at the earliest.

“In a last-ditch effort to preserve a 162-game season, this week we have made good-faith proposals that address the specific concerns voiced by the MLBPA and would have allowed the players to return to the field immediately,” Manfred said. “The Clubs went to extraordinary lengths to meet the substantial demands of the MLBPA. On the key economic issues that have posed stumbling blocks, the Clubs proposed ways to bridge gaps to preserve a full schedule. Regrettably, after our second late-night bargaining session in a week, we remain without a deal.
“Because of the logistical realities of the calendar, another two series are being removed from the schedule, meaning that Opening Day is postponed until April 14th. We worked hard to reach an agreement and offered a fair deal with significant improvements for the players and our fans. I am saddened by this situation’s continued impact on our game and all those who are a part of it, especially our loyal fans.

“We have the utmost respect for our players and hope they will ultimately choose to accept the fair agreement they have been offered.”

As Bob Nightengale of USA Today pointed out, MLB has threatened that players will not be paid for games missed that cannot be made up as doubleheaders or via extended or altered schedules. Additionally, it now seems nearly impossible that spring training contests could be held in Arizona and Florida at any point this month…

ESPN notes that MLB and MLBPA representatives negotiated for 17 hours in discussions that began Tuesday morning and ran past 3 a.m. ET Wednesday. The worry now is any breakthroughs made during those talks will be tossed out the figurative window:

ESPN’s Marly Rivera reports there were no plans for discussions to be held Thursday…..

Meanwhile, the MLBPA called MLB’s decision to cancel more games “completely unnecessary” in a brief statement…

SNY’s Andy Martino explained there’s still a chance fans could get “most of a full season” depending on what occurs between the sides before the week ends…..