Saint Louis Cardinals and the MLB Lockout

Otis Adams

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Cardinals mascot FredbirdDilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

If you visit the Cards' website today you won't find Yadi and Waino smiling after a tough-fought win, or Goldschmidt putting on his cool shades before manning his post at first. Instead, you'll find some vintage clips from glorious days of yore.

After you watch the Cardinals' all-time ace, Bob Gibson, strikeout seventeen (SEVENTEEN) Detroit Tigers in a single World Series game as if he was a man pitching to boys, and read an article about Ken Boyer's hall-of-fame bona fides, you might start wondering where all of the still-living Redbirds have gone.

They have been removed from the website as part of the lockout.

In a letter to the fans, Major League Baseball's current commissioner, Robert Manfred expressed his disappointment about the current lockout while nudging the blame toward the players.

Despite the league's best efforts to make a deal with the Players Association, we were unable to extend our 26 year-long history of labor peace and come to an agreement with the MLBPA before the current CBA expired...From the beginning, the MLBPA has been unwilling to move from their starting position, compromise, or collaborate on solutions. (Commissioner Robert Manfred)

He went on to state that MLB believed "that an offseason lockout is the best mechanism to protect the 2022 season". The hope is that the lockout will spur negotiations so that the season begins on schedule.

Manfred argued that players in Major League Baseball enjoy benefits that exceed those found in any other sport. They include no salary cap and the allowance of contracts above ten years and $300 million. To go further, he argues, would mean that the rich teams would fully dominate both leagues.

Ben Fredrickson laid out the list of don'ts for MLB teams in a recent article. Don't make trades and don't sign free agents. Don't use player's names or pictures for team purposes. Don't allow team officials to do interviews with the media.

Fredrickson saw the letter to fans differently than Manfred might have hoped. He wrote that both the owners and the players are trying to drag fans down with them as they make early exits from the high road and start flinging mud at one another.

This is about both sides attempting to turn fans into pawns that regurgitate talking points while ignoring the obvious irony. (Ben Fredrickson)

Revenues in baseball have been increasing in recent years while salaries have mostly stood still. Most of the things being argued for by the players deal with making it easier for younger players to reach free agency faster, where they can make more money. This, in turn, reduces the benefits of drafting young and talented players who may leave relatively poor teams before those teams can gather enough talented youngsters to stand a chance in their divisions.

An oracle was not needed to predict this lockout, which might explain why the Cardinals acted quickly this offseason. Before Redbird fans had a chance to wash the nacho cheese stains out of their Ozzie Smith jerseys following the Cards' early exit from the 2021 playoffs, they heard news that the manager had been fired and replaced with Oliver Marmol. They extended Yadi and Waino's careers by at least one more season and inked lefty pitcher Steven Matz to a four-year deal.

The Cards are likely to have late-inning relievers remaining on their shopping list and possibly even another strong starting pitcher and shortstop upgrade. For now, they'll have to wait.

When the MLB lockout comes to an end, teams will be scrambling to finish the work still to do this winter. Another threat on the horizon is that the early weeks and months of the 2022 season might be ugly. Neither side is worried about spring training, as money is not lost until the regular is supposed to begin. If negotiations are pushed beyond spring training, it could be a blunder-filled start to the regular season under primetime cameras.

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Author of Lavatory Reader #1: This Road, now available on Amazon. New Twitter @OtisAdamsWrites. Otis Adams is an award-winning writer with three books under his belt and two dozen awards boxed up in his closet for his screenplays and short fiction. He writes regularly on Medium.com and can be contacted at pithbooks@gmail.com.

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