The MLB lockout cast a shadow of uncertainty over the start of the 2022 MLB regular season, but that uncertainty is coming to an end now that MLB players and owners agreed to a new CBA deal. This is good news for everyone involved – players, coaches, owners, staff, and fans.
In what was the ninth work stoppage in MLB history, the 2021-22 MLB lockout began on December 2nd, 2021 when the 2016 collective bargaining agreement expired. The MLBPA and MLB owners have been negotiating a new CBA deal for the past few months, but to no avail.
On March 1, 2022, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred canceled the first two series of the regular season after no deal was reached at the original deadline set by league officials. Furthermore, Manfred threatened to cancel more games if a deal wasn’t reached in the coming weeks.
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Things to Do Now That the MLB Lockout Is Over
On March 10, 2022, the MLBPA and MLB owners reached a tentative agreement on a new 5-year CBA – putting an end to the MLB lockout. It’s important to note that nothing has been made official yet and the two sides have agreed to formalize the new CBA at a later date.
For all those fans out there that were worried about a shortened season due to the MLB lockout, you have nothing to worry about. By reaching a deal on March 10, both sides avoided a short season and the league is planning on a full, 162-game season – just like any other season.
With that said, the start of the regular season will be delayed. The original start date was scheduled for March 31st, but the new start date will be delayed until April 7th. It’s only a week, but let’s go over some exciting and fun things you can do in preparation for the regular season.
1. MLB Spring Training 2022
We might have to wait until April 7th for the regular season to start, but we’ll get plenty of Spring Training action starting March 18th – which is less than one week away. In fact, spring training camps are set to open this Sunday as players report to the field for the first time this year.
The games will continue until March 29th. All Grapefruit League games will take place in the state of Florida, while the Cactus League games will take place in the state of Arizona. The Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks will be the first two teams to take the field.
2. Create a Fantasy Baseball Team
There are over 7.7 billion people in the world and while only 30 of those people have an opportunity to be a principal owner in the MLB, the rest of us get the satisfaction of being the principal owner of a fantasy baseball team. It doesn’t come with the same perks, but it’s fun!
Fantasy owners have a lot of questions to answer this time of year. Who will they draft? When will they draft them? Will they do an online fantasy draft with strangers or an in-person fantasy draft with friends? There’s no right or wrong way to do it, so long as you have fun doing it!
3. Prepare Your Sports Betting Strategy
Fantasy baseball is one way to test your knowledge of the game, but you can also turn to sports betting – so long as you’re responsible with it and it’s legal in your area. For many people, betting on baseball gives them something and someone to root for. It makes it interesting and exciting.
If you’re someone who likes to bet on baseball games, now is the perfect time to start preparing your strategy for the season. There are also a ton of future bets and prop bets that can keep you busy until the games start. Good luck, be responsible, win some extra cash, and happy betting!
4. Make Predictions With Friends and Family
If you have friends and family that love baseball just as much as you, then you’re lucky because you have someone to gush over the upcoming season with. Make those bold predictions, discuss the latest signings and trades, and tell them how good your favorite team is going to be.
The only thing better than watching baseball is talking about baseball and predicting how you think the season will go. There doesn’t have to be any bets or money involved, just bragging rights when your predictions come true – bragging rights that you get to keep with you forever.
5. Watch NCAA Division I Baseball
The 2022 NCAA Division I baseball season began on February 18th, so we’re not 100% without baseball right now. The season will conclude in June with the ending of the College World Series, so you can take this time to get to know some of the top teams in college baseball.
As of right now, the top ten teams – in order – include Texas, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Vanderbilt, Stanford, Oklahoma State, Oregon State, Florida State, Notre Dame, and Tennessee. LSU, NC State, and Mississippi State started the season strong, but have had rough outings recently.
6. Watch NCAA Division I Softball
College baseball is always exciting, but let’s not forget about college softball. The 2022 NCAA Division I softball season began on February 10th and will continue until the middle of June with the conclusion of the 2022 Women’s College World Series. It’s bound to be a good one this year.
As of right now, the top ten teams – in order – include Oklahoma, Alabama, Florida State, Florida, Washington, UCLA, Virginia State, Arizona, Oregon, and Arkansas. The first four are currently undefeated, while Washington and Oregon have just one loss on the season thus far.
7. Play Baseball With Friends and Family
Watching baseball is one thing, but what about playing baseball? Whether you’re throwing the baseball around in the backyard or taking a trip to your local park to hit some dingers in the baseball field, it’s always a good time when you’re playing baseball with your friends and family.
Getting regular physical activity is essential to achieving optimal health and wellness. All you need is around 60 minutes of physical activity per day – that could be walking, jogging, swimming, dancing, gardening, or playing baseball (we definitely recommend baseball!).
8. Memorize Your Team’s New Roster
The 2022 MLB offseason has been a weird one. Teams had about one month to start signing free agents and making deals before the MLB lockout started in December 2021. That brought all deals, signings, trades, and even talks to a standstill until recently on March 10, 2022.
Now that teams are free to talk with players, we’re going to see a lot of player movement in the next few weeks. Take this time to get to know some of the new players joining your favorite team and follow some of the other news happening around the league – there’s a lot to take in!
9. Call the Cleveland Guardians the Cleveland Indians On Accident
At the end of the 2021 season, the Cleveland Indians officially changed their name to the Cleveland Guardians. As you would expect with a professional team that just changed their name for the first time in over 100 years, the new name will take some getting used to.
The Cleveland Guardians finished last season with an 80-82 record. Their .494 winning record was their worst since finishing the 2012 season with a .420 winning record. They’ll be looking to get back to their above-.500 ways this season and they’ll have a new name to show off as well.
10. Start a Baseball Blog
With the technology we have today, starting a baseball blog has never been easier. Not only are there multiple tools to help you build a functional website in minutes, but you can easily start a blog on social media without the hassle of maintaining a website. There’s no shortage of options!
Starting a baseball blog is perfect for anyone who has fun, accurate, interesting, or bold opinions about the game today. It’s amazing how many people are willing to tune in and listen to those opinions, but most people don’t take the time to release their opinions to the rest of the world.
11. Watch The Sandlot (1993)
Looking for something to do until the regular season starts? Well, we have a string of baseball movies that are worth the watch – even if you’ve seen them before. First off, let’s start with perhaps the greatest baseball movie ever created, The Sandlot (1993). It’s an absolute classic.
The movie follows a group of young boys that play pickup baseball in a local sandlot. They accidentally lose an extremely valuable baseball and embark on a mission to retrieve it. There are also two sequels that are worth watching – The Sandlot 2 and The Sandlot: Heading Home.
12. Watch Moneyball (2011)
Moneyball is a 2011 baseball drama that stars Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, and Philip Seymour Hoffman. It’s based on a book by Michael Lewis that recounts the Oakland Athletics’ 2002 season. General manager Billy Beane was tasked with building the team into a contender.
On a limited budget, Beane (played by Pitt) assembles a team of undervalued players using sabermetrics, which wasn’t used in baseball at the time. The team goes 103-59 and wins the American League West title, but falls short of a World Series in what was viewed as a failure.
13. Watch Field of Dreams (1989)
Field of Dreams is a 1989 baseball fantasy drama that stars Kevin Costner, Amy Madigan, Ray Liotta, and James Earl Jones. It follows the story of a corn farmer that hears a voice whispering off in the distance saying, “If you build it, he will come,” referring to a baseball field.
The farmer ends up plowing under part of his farm to build a baseball field and the ghosts of former legends take the field to play games. Despite demands to sell his land due to going bankrupt, the games draw attention from baseball fans wanting to relive their childhoods.
14. Watch The Rookie (2002)
The Rookie is a 2002 baseball drama that stars Dennis Quaid, Rachel Griffiths, Brian Cox, and Jay Hernandez. Quaid plays a high school science teacher and varsity baseball coach that once had dreams of playing in the major leagues before injuring his shoulder after being drafted.
The team he coaches finds out how good of a pitcher he was and they make a deal with him – if they win district and make the playoffs, he’ll try out for an MLB team again. They end up doing it, he ends up trying out, and he eventually achieves his lifelong dream of playing in the MLB.
15. Watch Angels In the Outfield (1994)
Angels In the Outfield is a 1994 baseball fantasy comedy drama that stars Danny Glover, Tony Danza, Brenda Fricker, Christopher Lloyd, Ben Johnson, and Jay O. Sanders. It follows two little foster boys named Roger and J.P. that frequently sneak into California Angels’ games.
Roger starts to see angels helping the players and it eventually catches the eye of the manager, George Knox, who makes Roger the team’s good luck charm. The team makes a push for the division title and pennant with the help of the angels and George adopts Roger and J.P.
16. Watch Fever Pitch (2005)
Fever Pitch is a 2005 baseball romantic comedy that stars Jimmy Fallon, Drew Barrymore, JoBeth Williams, and James B. Sikking. Fallon plays a high school teacher and die hard Boston Red Sox fan that starts dating a successful lawyer that knows nothing about baseball.
The two grow close, but it becomes apparent that he cares more about the Red Sox than her. He makes several efforts to win her back and even resorts to selling his season tickets. Before he could do so, she stopped him, they got back together, and they lived happily ever after.
17. Watch Major League (1989)
Major League is a 1989 baseball comedy that stars Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen, Corbin Bernsen, Margaret Whitton, Wesley Snipes, James Gammon, Rene Russo, and Bob Uecker. Whitton plays a Las Vegas showgirl who becomes the owner of the Cleveland Indians.
She wants to relocate the team to Miami, but must first reduce fan interest. In an effort to make the team stink, she does the opposite and the team eventually wins the division championship. Charlie Sheen stars as Rick Vaughn, one of the star pitchers. It’s a classic film worth a watch.
18. Watch Rookie of the Year (1993)
Rookie of the Year is a 1993 baseball comedy that stars Gary Busey, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Dan Hedaya, and Daniel Stern. It follows the story of a little league player that breaks his arm. The tendons in his arm heal a little too tight, which improves his pitching speed greatly.
His incredible throwing power is put on display after he catches a home run during a Cubs’ game and throws the ball back to home plate – over 430 yards away. The Cubs recruit him and he ends up helping the team win the championship before returning back to little league play.
19. Watch The Battered Bastards of Baseball (2014)
The Battered Bastards of Baseball is a 2014 baseball documentary that tells the story of the Portland Mavericks. They were a minor league baseball team in Portland that was owned by Bing Russell and played in the Class A-Short Season Northwest League between 1973-1977.
The title of the documentary is actually a line from the 1970 book Ball Four by Jim Bouton that went, “Us battered bastards of baseball are the biggest customers of the U.S. Post Office, forwarding-address department.” The Mavericks weren’t affiliated with any major league team.
20. Read Ball Four by Jim Bouton
Speaking of Jim Bouton’s book titled Ball Four, it’s definitely worth a read. It changed the public’s perspective of life inside the MLB and is one of the most popular baseball books of all-time. Bouton gives you an inside look at what it’s like to be a baseball player in the major leagues.
At the time the book was released in 1970, many people were unaware of the frequent drug use, partying, womanizing, and obscene jokes that happened behind the scenes. It was so controversial at the time that the former MLB commissioner attempted to discredit the book.
Looking Ahead to an Exciting 2022 MLB Season
With the MLB lockout now behind us, we can start looking forward to yet another fun and exciting MLB season. Since teams weren’t allowed to sign, trade, or even talk to players during the MLB lockout, you can expect a lot of player movement in the coming days and weeks.
Teams around the league don’t have a lot of time to prepare their rosters and get their team ready for what’ll hopefully be a championship run. These next few weeks will show which players have stayed in shape – both physically and mentally – since the start of December.
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The Atlanta Braves are the defending champions, but this is a new year. The MLB lockout was a small hiccup in what’s normally an eventful offseason, but baseball is back and it’s going to be an incredible season. Who do you think will end the 2022 season as World Series champions?
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