MLB pushes opening day back to at least April 14 as lockout persists
Major League Baseball said Wednesday that the league has canceled more regular-season games, pushing back opening day until at least April 14 as negotiations between the union and league owners continue."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," MLB Commissioner Robert Manfred said in a statement. "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," Manfred added.The MLB Players Association, the union for the league's players, released a statement on Twitter in response to the news — saying that cancelation of games is "completely unnecessary.""Players want to play and we cannot wait to get back on the field for the best fans in the world. Our top priority remains the finalization of a fair contract for all Players, and we will continue negotiations toward that end," the union said.On Wednesday, Manfred announced that another two series of games were being canceled, as players will not be paid for the games they don't play."We have the utmost respect for our players and hope they will ultimately choose to accept the fair agreement they have been offered," Manfred said. News of the delayed start of the season comes after the league announced last week that it was canceling the start of the 2022 regular season, which was slated to begin on March 31. Last week's announcement followed the breakdown of negotiations between MLB owners and players, who have been locked out since Dec. 2, 2021. "I'm really disappointed," Manfred said after the player's union rejected the owners' offer last week. "This is a first-time situation. Since we've gone to interleague play, we've never [canceled] games."This is the first time regular-season MLB games have been canceled as a result of a work stoppage since the player's strike during the 1994-95 season.On Friday, the Major League Baseball Players Association announced the kick-off of a $1 million fund to help support workers impacted by thelockout delaying the start of the 2022 season. The funds will be given to stadium workers and staff, such as concession crews, electricians, janitors, ushers, security and transportation staff in addition to its broadcast crews. Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.