Following 99 Day Lockout, Baseball is Back


Justin Brown

At T-Mobile Park in Seattle, Washington.

After the second-longest lockout in the history of the league, Major League Baseball has returned. The lockout lasted from December 2, 2021 to March 10, 2022. The player’s union and the MLB owners and executives were at extreme odds regarding Mi- nor League systems, salary caps, and other monetary issues. The lockout lasted 99 days and affected the regular-season schedule. Opening Day was pushed back from March 30 to April 7, canceling each team’s first two series. Nonetheless, baseball is back, with all 30 teams roughly 20 games into their 162-game season.

Despite the tension and disagreements that transpired during the off- season, free agency was a money-filled frenzy. The offseason was a medley of star players receiving record-break- ing contracts. Many of the game’s biggest name infielders signed with new teams. Some of those include Freddie Freeman (Dodgers), Trevor Story (Red Sox), Carlos Correa (Twins). The struggling Texas Rangers spent the most money, paying $500 million to build a new middle infield by inking Shortstop Corey Seager (10 yr, $325 mil) and Second-Baseman Marcus Semien (7 yr, $175 mil) to deals that keep them in Arlington for years to come.

Another notable change to the league is the introduction of the universal Designated Hitter (DH). Historically, the American League (AL) has always had a DH hit in the place of the pitch- er, while the pitchers themselves hit in the National League (NL). This year, a new rule was implemented allowing both leagues to utilize the DH spot, al- lowing for more offensive power.

The Toronto Blue Jays, who missed the 2021 Postseason by a single game, began the year as the favorites to win the AL. They are led by MVP candidate Vladimir Guererro Jr. and new offseason acquisitions Third-Baseman Matt Chapman and Pitcher Kevin Gausman. On the flip side, the Los Angeles Dodgers are favored to win the NL. The squad features a lineup full of All-Stars, including newly-signed Freddie Free- man, as well as former MVP Mookie Betts.

Despite these popular predictions, many believe that this won’t be the World Series match-up in 2022. The Atlanta Braves look to repeat as champions, while their division rivals, The Philadelphia Phillies, are looking to be a dark-horse candidate after major free agent signings. Furthermore, the AL East looks to become one of the most exciting and competitive, with four of the five teams vying for the division championship.