As Major League Baseball (MLB) continues its offseason, the league has grabbed headlines on many issues that stray far from the baseball diamond. The voting results for the 2022 Hall of Fame class were revealed on Jan. 25 and were met with much controversy. The members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) are in charge of voting athletes into the Hall of Fame. It was revealed that only one player had received the 75% of the vote necessary to be deemed worthy of induction into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
Former Boston Red Sox first baseman and designated hitter David Ortiz, also known as “Big Papi,” was the sole player chosen to be honored in the 2022 Hall of Fame. Over the span of his 20-year career, Ortiz was a three-time World Series champion, a World Series Most Valuable Player (MVP), a seven-time Silver Slugger award winner and a 10-time All-Star. He accumulated 541 career home runs, which is 17th most all time, according to mlb.com.
Notable omissions from the Hall of Fame selection include Barry Bonds, the MLB all time leader in home runs with 762, and Roger Clemens, the seven-time Cy Young Award winner and holder of the third most strikeouts in MLB history with 4,672, according to Mlb.com. Despite their success in the league, Bonds and Clemens have both been vilified by the media largely because of their presumed use of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) during their careers.
On another note, the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) and the MLB owners have yet to come to an agreement on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), which has forced the MLB into a lockout since Dec. 1. The last lockout to take place in the league was back in 1994, a player strike that lasted over a year and led to the cancellation of an entire season, according to cbssports.com
One of the main causes of the lockout appears to be that owners across the league want an expanded playoffs system for the league, but the players are rebuking this and instead demand an expansion on free agency rights, a larger percentage of the amount of revenue they will receive, and an agreement for players to protect themselves from being held back in the minors for financial reasons, according to nbcsports.com.
With spring training set to begin at the end of February, there is cause for concern if the 2022 season will be put on delay until these issues between the league and players are sorted out. The players will be at stake to lose out on proper preparation time for the long season, as well as take the risk of being more injury prone due to lack of training. Sacred Heart freshman Ryan Breihof showed frustration with MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred.
“My stance on the lockout is that Rob Manfred needs to adapt to a new generation and understand where these players are coming from,” Breihof said. “As a fan, I understand that it’s a business and money revolves around everything, but Rob Manfred needs to open his eyes to the issues that the players are expressing.”