June 26, 2022

​The end of the MLB lockout

After a little more than three months, the Major League Baseball lockout is over.
At the end of the 2021 season, the MLB owners and the Major League Baseball Players
Association (MLBPS) failed to agree on a new collective bargaining agreement. A collective
bargaining agreement is a legal contract between employers and the employees union that
discusses wages, hours, and  terms and conditions of employment. In this case, the owners and
the players union could not come up with an agreement, causing a 99-day, owner imposed
lockout.
On March 10, the owners and players association agreed to the new terms of a collective
bargaining agreement.
What does that mean? Thanks to the new agreement, baseball will officially start with Opening
Day on April 7. A full schedule of 162 games will be played, which will include numerous nine
inning doubleheaders throughout the season. Spring training, which was originally scheduled to
begin on February 26, started March 13.
In addition to the new start dates, rules to the game of baseball have been approved as well.
Doubleheaders will return to nine innings as opposed to the rule change from last season, where
doubleheader games were seven innings.
Another change new to this season is an expanded playoff format for the postseason. In the past,
ten teams made the playoffs, six division winners and four wildcard teams. The 2022 season will
introduce a twelve team format that includes the same six division winners and six wildcard
teams.  
   The last, most notable change to the season is a universal designated hitter rule. The designated
hitter allows teams to place another hitter in the lineup in place of the pitcher. Before the change,
the National League required pitchers to hit for their respective teams. The American League has
used a DH since 1973. The adoption by the National League brings what seems to be the end of
pitchers hitting in games.
    The changes will make for an interesting MLB season. In spite of not knowing whether or not
the season would occur, baseball fans can agree that they are happy the 2022 baseball season will
go on.

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