As of Thursday afternoon, there is no clue about when the New York Yankees will take the field again. MLB owners and the players’ association haven’t been able to hammer out the details of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, or CBA, after the old one expired on December 1.
At that point, the owners implemented a “lockout”, which is still in place, that forbids teams to sign players or execute trades. Ballplayers can’t even go to the club facilities to rehab injuries, and physicians aren’t allowed to monitor their progress. Baseball has no regulatory instrument at the moment.
CBA negotiations can be ugly, and there is a chance games are lost if both parties can’t come to an agreement come March. That’s precisely what former Yankees’ first baseman Mark Teixeira fears.
The Yankees’ former All-Star wants to see some progress in talks
The former slugger retired with 409 homers and is a member of the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time, without much success so far. But he remains attentive on what happens on the baseball front, particularly, the CBA negotiations.
“Stay in your corner, fight for what you think you should get,” Teixeira said, per NJ Advance Media. “I love it. But no one wants to see games lost. I’m crossing my fingers that we get to a point where mid-February – (the lockout) might bleed into spring training – there’s an agreement so we can watch baseball next year.”
“I think one thing that baseball needs to understand is that the product itself needs help,” the former World Series champion with the Yankees stated. “We’ve talked for years about length of game and pace of play and too many strikeouts, too many home runs. I think that baseball needs to really make some changes, and these aren’t radical changes. A pitch clock to me is not a radical change. Banning the shift is not a radical change. Tighten up the game and make it a little bit more interesting … a little bit more action.”
At the end of the day, if games are indeed lost, both sides stand to lose valuable things. That’s why Teixeira wants to see both sides prioritizing their partnership with this in mind.
“And then at a certain point in time, players and owners need to look at this as a partnership because when you’re in business you’ve got to have some sort of relationship, some sort of partnership, between ownership and labor to make it work. Right now it feels like no one wants to be partners here. Whatever that looks like, I don’t know. I’m glad it’s not my job, but it does seem to me that the NBA and NFL and some of these other leagues have said — good, bad or indifferent — ‘What’s good for me is good for you. Let’s try to make as much money as possible.’