Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Major League Baseball On Verge Of Revolutionary Labor Deal

Bet you didn't know this, huh? With all the NBA lockout/labor nightmare going on for NBA fans, most MLB fans probably have no idea that MLB has made astounding progress in their own labor negotiations.

However, that's exactly the latest news coming out of MLB today.  Both sides are very close to a new labor agreement that will ensure the longest continuous labor peace since the MLB Players' Association was formed in the 1960's.

The current labor deal, signed in 2006, was also signed with little animosity.  However, this current five-year deal being proposed is unusual in that the negotiations are going smoothly and quickly despite the revolutionary changes.
Why is it revolutionary? Here are some of the rumored facets of the new labor agreement:
  • Re-aligning all teams into two 15-team leagues; no more divisions
  • Adding an extra wild card team to each league for the playoffs
  • Inter-league play will be sprinkled throughout the entire season, not just the current couple weeks it currently lasts
  • There are also proposed changes to the Draft, free agency, and the "competitive balance" tax.
Although negotiations have apparently been going on since January, the current labor deal ends in December. It's been important to get this deal done in the light of the highly unpopular NFL and NBA lockouts that have tarnished the 2011 sports year.  

I, for one, am very excited about the re-alignment.  Whether it works like the current NHL structure or something different, it sounds like a great idea.  Adding a second wild-card team would seem to give the top seeds in each league a bye at the beginning of the playoffs.  

Now, if they could only eliminate that asinine rule about the winner of the All-Star Game getting their league home field advantage in the World Series. 

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