The MLB lockout has already delayed the opening of Spring Training camps, along with Cactus League and Grapefruit League games at least until March 5.
Looking further down the calendar, Opening Day of the 2022 regular season tentatively is still set for March 31. But time is ticking away and if more days pass without a new collective bargaining agreement in place, it could result in another shortened season.
“Obviously it’s not a position we want to be in. We think we have the best fans in the country and we want to be on the field performing for them and letting them come out and enjoy America’s pastime,” Justin Turner recently said.
“But at the same time, we just want a fair shot at it, with what’s going on with the owners. We have really involved people who are getting deep into negotiations. I’m hoping we can hold out for a full regular season and maybe a little bit of a shortened Spring Training. Honestly, I’m not going to complain about a short Spring Training, but hoping for a full 162 (games).”
Although little progress has been made thus far in CBA negotiations, Turner believes MLB and the Players Association (MLBPA) will draw from only playing 60 games in 2020 and ultimately get aligned in the best interest of the sport.
“I’m very hopeful,” answered Turner when asked about his level of confidence with playing a full season. “I know 2020, obviously the pandemic hit, but playing a 60-game season wasn’t good for anyone.
“Wasn’t good for the players, wasn’t good for the owners, so I hope everyone realizes that the best thing for everyone — especially our fans, who are the most important people in all this — is to play a full 162-game season.”
Turner can succeed with shortened Spring Training
While recognizing Spring Training requires a different progression for pitchers, Turner indicated on a personal level he would be able to sufficiently get prepared over one month’s time.
It’s a sentiment Cody Bellinger also shared, and one that could become a reality if a CBA isn’t in place for another handful of days.
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