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Let’s Remember Some Locked-Out MLB Players, Day 51

A solid seven weeks have now passed since MLB owners locked out their workforce and sent their lackey, commissioner Rob Manfred, out to declare straight-facedly that this action was necessary to speed along negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement. We are now two weeks closer to the scheduled start of spring training (Feb. 26) than we are to the start of this work stoppage. Things seem not to have worked out as Manfred intended, drawing from owners what I am sure must be a loud, exasperated “shucks” of genuine shock.

Things may soon get going. Jeff Passan of ESPN reported Friday morning that owners and player representatives are expected to meet in person on Monday, at which time the Major League Baseball Players Association plans to present to owners “a labor proposal,” presumably encompassing those pesky “core economics” that have bedeviled negotiations from the jump. This is only the third time since Dec. 2 that either side has proposed anything at all, and only the second time that they have done anything beyond nibble around the edges, determinedly avoiding the sore spots that players see as unbalancing the league in favor of owners, who have proven definitely and at every pass that without a firm system of checks they will spend the bare minimum to keep the sport running. The stakes for this meeting are significant, according to Passan:

Should the players’ offer do little to advance the negotiations that thus far haven’t yielded any substantive progress, the scheduled start to spring training in mid-February will grow that much unlikelier. And the longer discussions on a new collective-bargaining agreement last, the more they jeopardize Opening Day on March 31.

The gap between the players and league remains significant, with the union seeking major financial gains in a number of areas and owners trying to hold firm with what they currently pay in salaries. Other issues players have said remain a priority include anti-tanking measures and fixing service-time manipulation.

ESPN

What can fans do beyond sit by and fidget and freak out about spring and summer approaching with no promise of sweet, sweet baseball? Well, for one thing, we can look upon a random selection of displaced faces of our many baseball heroes, squint into the distance, scratch at our chins, and struggle to put a name to each tortured rictus. The spread of faces atop this blog—the sixth such collection since the lockout began—contains some of our biggest stars yet: a two-time MVP; a two-time Cy Young winner; a record-setting closer; a generational slugger; multiple World Series champs; and several extremely goddamn cool young players. I recognize a whopping 10 of these men just by their face-and-cap combo; my lawyer is checking the fine print but I believe this makes me officially Manfred’s direct successor.

Please remember some of these fellows down below, and please use this key to identify the 46 faces of the Day 34 collection. To forget the baseball men is to abandon your very soul! You musn’t!

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Let’s Remember Some Locked-Out MLB Players, Day 34