The MLB and Players’ Union were meeting into the wee hours of the morning, and the deadline to reach a deal has officially passed. Our reward for staying up late? Nothing. As my friends like to say: “Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.” Today’s prize is my loss of sanity on the lockout negotiations.
If you don’t like baseball anymore, you can watch Ja Morant doing Ja Morant things.
Deal Or No Deal?
MLB & Players’ Union Don’t Come to Agreement by Deadline, Opening Day Pushed Back
Baseball, you’ve done it again. I spent Monday afternoon following the meetings between the MLB and Players’ Union, and it appears I’ll still be following them for the foreseeable future. Monday’s deadline to reach an agreement passed, and there’s no deal in place for the 2022 MLB season to begin despite intense talks throughout the day. The league is ready to cancel games, and I’m ready to cancel my sanity.
What Happened on Monday?
A lot more of the same… Nothing. The owners stepped to the plate on the day of the deadline ready to play ball. It was the final chance to save a complete season (reportedly), but forging a path to the labor deal proved too little too late. The league publicly indicated their willingness to miss the first month of games. Opening Day — originally scheduled for March 31 — won’t happen on time.
The Players Cry Foul
The negotiations on a new CBA began almost a year ago, and the fact that no deal has been reached is infuriating to both players and fans alike. A number of stars took to social media (where else?) to crack jokes and essentially laugh at their own misfortunes in dealing with greedy owners. Bryce Harper offered his services to a Japanese team, the Yomiuri Giants. Joey Gallo made a LinkedIn page that was hilarious. Canceling games means no paychecks for players. And while most will be fine, some of the league’s low-salary employees aren’t laughing.
As we step into March and another month of negotiations, I’ll put the lockout chatter on hold until we have a resolution. I’m sure the urgency will begin to kick in on both sides, but who knows? What I do know is that baseball has reached a crisis point. America’s sport of the past is quickly becoming just that. All the luxury tax and roster compromises can be talked to death, or we can figure it out and play ball. But we won’t… At least not on time.
Yahoo! Sports: MLB Lockout Legacy: Baseball May Never Look the Same Again
Russia Ousted From World Cup 2022
FIFA & UEFA Suspend Russia From All Soccer Competitions, Including World Cup
After a weekend of protests and disputes across European soccer, Russian teams were suspended on Monday from all international competitions. Both FIFA and UEFA came together to enact a ban on Russian national teams until further notice. The decision comes on the heels of the country’s invasion of Ukraine, and it means Russia will no longer appear in the 2022 World Cup.
“Football is fully united here and in full solidarity with all the people affected in Ukraine.” — FIFA & UEFA (Joint Statement)
International Olympic Committee
It wasn’t just soccer that pulled the plug on Russian competition. The IOC called for Russia to be excluded by all sports governing bodies, meaning Russian athletes and officials will not be allowed at all international events.
We’ll have more on the developments in Russian sports bans as this story unfolds…
The Top-10 Shakeup
Gonzaga & Arizona Remain 1-2 Despite Weekend of Upsets
Following the biggest upset day in college basketball history, the men’s AP Poll got a huge shakeup. Gonzaga and Arizona still retain the top two spots, but Baylor (3) and Duke (4) made the biggest climbs as we head into March. In the women’s rankings, it’s another stay at No. 1 for South Carolina while the top-five remain the same. March has arrived, so our weekly AP Poll update will be replaced by brackets and conference tournaments the rest of the way.
Men’s AP Top-10
1. Gonzaga (24-3) | —
2. Arizona (25-3) | —
3. Baylor (24-5) | ↑7
4. Duke (25-4) | ↑3
5. Auburn (25-4) | ↓2
6. Kansas (23-5) | ↓1
7. Kentucky (23-6) | ↓1
8. Purdue (24-5) | ↓4
9. Providence (24-3) | ↑2
10. Wisconsin (23-5) | ↑3
Women’s AP Top-10
1. South Carolina (27-1) | —
2. Stanford (25-3) | —
3. NC State (26-3) | —
4. Louisville (25-3) | —
5. Baylor (23-5) | —
6. LSU (25-4) | ↑2
7. UConn (22-5) | —
8. Iowa State (24-4) | ↑1
9. Texas (21-6) | ↑2
10. Michigan (22-5) | ↓4
Another night, another record for Ja Morant. The Grizzlies’ star poured in a career-high 52 points just one game after his career-high 46-point outing. Morant went 22-for-30, including 4-for-4 from 3 along with a pair of must-see highlights — a poster jam and a buzzer-beater for the ages. Grizz beat the Spurs, 118-105. If you click one highlight from today, this is it.
The Bruins absolutely blasted the Kings on Monday night (7-0), and it started with a barrage of goals from Jake DeBrusk. Boston’s winger tallied his first career hat trick in the first 20:53. From there, the Bruins exploded for four more goals and their fifth straight win.
New Orleans has built a perfect roster for Zion. Now it just needs … Zion. Plus, thoughts on the Sixers’ new superstar duo and whether it can carry Philly to the Finals. (The Ringer)
The 2022 NFL Scouting Combine begins in Indianapolis this week with interviews from head coaches and general managers. Let’s answer some of the burning questions… (CBS Sports)
The Avalanche have the best future odds at SI Sportsbook to win the Stanley Cup, followed by the two-time defending champion Lightning. (Sports Illustrated)