Neither pitchers nor catchers, on the day they had to appear

NEW YORK — Max Scherzer will not start preseason practices this Wednesday, at the New York Mets’ warm camp in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Either marcus stroman he’ll be brushing off rust among the cacti at the Chicago Cubs complex in Mesa, Arizona.

The bats will not resound when hitting the balls, nor the balls when hitting the gloves.

There will also be no free agents donning their new teams’ uniforms for the first time. Not veterans who hug their teammates after months of not seeing them.

It will be impossible to see the children leaning against the barbed wire, waiting to hunt down an autograph. In fact, there isn’t even a single hint that anyone is preparing for a season opener that might not arrive on the planned March 31 date.

After all, there was not even a negotiating session on the day.

Neither side has issued any public statements so far this week to acknowledge the obvious: The preseason won’t start on time. The last time this had happened was in 1995.

The lockout will be 77 days old on Wednesday, and both players and managers maintain their differences on how to share the money in an industry that generates 10,000 million dollars a year.

So instead of discussing earned runs and RBIs, the Major Leagues are now talking about the competitive balance tax and the average annual value.

Pitchers and catchers will not report to camp as scheduled, but Major League Baseball does not anticipate announcing a preseason affectation until games cannot be played on Feb. 26.

And if the discussions drag on into March — as all signs point — the opening of the regular season will almost certainly be postponed.

“I’m optimistic and I think we’ll have a deal in time to play our regular schedule,” Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred told a news conference Thursday. “I see that if we miss games, it would be disastrous for the industry, and we are always committed to reaching an agreement in an effort to avoid that.”

Those were Manfred’s first comments to the media since Dec. 2, the day baseball’s ninth work stoppage began — the first since 1995.

The pace of negotiations has been even slower than some games.

There have been only about five negotiating sessions on global economic issues since the start of the strike: a videoconference on January 13, followed by face-to-face meetings on February 24 and 25, as well as February 1 and 12.

the reliever Andrew Miller He has been the only player who has attended in person and the general manager of the Colorado Rockies, Dick Montfort has been the only owner who has done the same.

Players have demanded significant changes, angered by the fact that payrolls totaled $4.05 billion last year, down 4.6% from their record of just under $4.25 billion in 2017, the first year of the collective bargaining agreement that expired. newly.

The union has demanded that the ability to seek salary arbitration be expanded to two years of service in the majors, the level it had from 1974-86. It has proposed a decrease in revenue sharing and wants new methods for young players are counted additional service time.

The union organization considers that this last measure would address its complaint that the teams manipulate the service time of the players.

The leaders have indicated that they will not consider reductions in revenue sharing or an expansion of the right to arbitration. Both sides are very far apart in terms of minimum wages, the amount of money to be distributed as bonuses for young stars, as well as the limits and quotas of the so-called “luxury tax”.

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Neither pitchers nor catchers, on the day they had to appear