Front Page Talking Points


Batter up: Major League Baseball labor fight ends just in time for new season


1.gifLook for a quote from anyone reacting to this news and tell why you agree or don't.

2.gifNow find a spring training photo and tell how it makes you feel.

3.gifList two interesting facts from coverage of another sports topic.

It's almost time to play ball, though it nearly wasn't. Baseball team owners and players reached a new contract agreement last Thursday after three months of on-and-off talks that left many wondering when the 2022 season would start – or whether it would take place at all. Spring training camps opened in Florida and Arizona a day after the deal. Exhibition games start this Friday, March 18, and end sooner than usual. Opening Day is April 7, a week later than planned. A full 162-game season will be played, thanks to clever scheduling and a few extra doubleheaders.

Under a new agreement with the players' union:

  • Minimum salaries rise from $700,000 this season to $780,000 in 2026
  • Postseason playoffs expand to include 12 teams
  • The league creates a new bonus pool to be distributed among high-achieving newcomers with less than three years of playing time

The breakthrough follows three tense months. Players hoped for sweeping changes to a system they felt let owners increase revenue without a proportional increase in spending. After declaring a lockout (workplace closures) right after the collective bargaining agreement expired in early December, the league didn't contact the players union to talk until mid-January, 43 days later. "Who outflanked who? In my view, there's only one win, and that's an agreement," said Rob Manfred, commissioner of Major League Baseball.

Union leader says: "Our union endured the second-longest work stoppage in its history to achieve significant progress in key areas that will improve not just current players' rights and benefits, but those of generations to come." -- Tony Clark, Major League Players Association

Ex-player says: "Great news. Wonderful for our fans that baseball is back." – Ruben Amaro, Jr., past Philadelphia Phillies outfielder

Sportswriter says: "Scars probably will linger, particularly when it comes to the perception of the owners as self-interested." – Chelsea Janes, The Washington Post

Front Page Talking Points is written by Alan Stamm for NIEonline.com, Copyright 2022

Front Page Talking Points Archive

Common Core State Standard
SL.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: An essay of a current news event is provided for discussion to encourage participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the article. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event within the news, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.