Red Sox to miss nine games thanks to spring training delay by MLB

FT. MYERS, FL - MARCH 4: J.D. Martinez #28 and Alex Verdugo #99 of the Boston Red Sox stretch during a spring training team workout on March 4, 2021 at jetBlue Park at Fenway South in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
FT. MYERS, FL - MARCH 4: J.D. Martinez #28 and Alex Verdugo #99 of the Boston Red Sox stretch during a spring training team workout on March 4, 2021 at jetBlue Park at Fenway South in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /

Red Sox lose precious time thanks to MLB delay

Well, Red Sox Nation, we got the news I think many of us were expecting today after another failed round of negotiations. MLB has decided that they simply must delay spring training as the ongoing efforts to set a new CBA have continued to yield no results. Now not only do fans have to wait even longer to see their favorite players take the field again, but the players themselves will miss out on incredibly important training time.

The whole point of spring training is to get as ready as humanly possible for real games and the slog that is the MLB regular season. While I can guarantee the players all over the league are going whatever they can to get themselves ready, nothing beats playing with your teammates and working with your team’s training staff. Thanks to today’s announcement, that process will have to be rushed, and will likely mean injuries for many.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported yesterday that MLB had self-imposed a February 28th deadline to get the new CBA into place. While it’s cute that the league has this date in mind, and has plans alongside the MLBPA to meet every day starting on Monday to achieve this goal, this could’ve been avoided. There’s no reason why this urgency couldn’t have begun back in December, it’s absolutely pathetic.

For the Red Sox, this delay means that they’ll miss nine games worth of exhibition work including their usual split-squad games and the annual battle with Northeastern. To some that may not seem like much, especially with a 162-game season looming, but every inning matters in spring, and the fellas need every single one of ’em, especially our pitching staff.

The split-squad games are such a benefit to the team and management as it allows Chaim Bloom, Alex Cora, and the rest of the staff to see their depth chart in live-action. Watching tape and occasionally working a guy in off the bench is one thing, but getting to actually have them live and playing in front of your eyes is another. Not having those opportunities in 2022 could greatly hinder some guys while delaying the debuts of some top prospects.

Boston has several veteran players on the roster and as we all know, with every passing year, it gets just a little bit harder to get out of bed in the morning. So while they can still work out, train with other players, and see specialists, not being able to get into the team facilities and work with their regular training staff is only going to hurt the process in 2022.

As for the games, nothing beats getting out onto the field with your guys and getting back into the groove of things. Batting cages, open fields, and home workouts are nice and all but there isn’t a damn thing that can compete with actually working with the guys you’ll have by your side for the next seven months, good fortune pending. Chemistry is one of if not the most important thing in team sports, and getting to build it before the heat gets turned up is ideal.

I’ve said it before and I’ll gladly say it again, this lockout never needed to happen. The two sides could’ve negotiated under good faith and continued to work under the rules of the expired CBA.

The owners chose to take the aggressive route in locking out the players and then ghosting them for months like the narcissistic goons that they are. And now, as the season inches closer and closer, they want to act as if they’ve been the good guys in this all long, nice try.

The players have altered their proposals and conceded multiple things that they initially fought for during this process while the owners simply scoff at every new attempt from them. We could be talking about spring training, our ideal lineups, and who should be starting on Opening Day right now. But because a group of money-hungry buffoons doesn’t want to loosen their grip even the slightest, we’re all left in the cold.

We saw the Red Sox far exceed any goals that were set before them as the 2021 season approached and now they should be hungrier than ever to do it again in 2022. Even with the lockout pushing back spring training I’ve seen plenty from our guys that shows they don’t want to take the foot off the pedal this year. They were two games away from the World Series last season, who’s to say they can’t win the whole damn thing this time around?

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