MLB commissioner Rob Manfred offered Bose headphones to players for opening day
MLB and the Players Association (MLBPA) failing to agree on a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) last December prompted team owners to unanimously impose a lockout, putting end to 27 consecutive years of social peace.
A quick resolution was not expected given the animosity that had built up between the parties over the years. This proved true as six weeks passed before the first proposal was made.
It wasn’t until late February that MLB and the MLBPA began meeting regularly. However, the two sides remained deadlocked in negotiations as the schedule turned to March, prompting commissioner Rob Manfred to cancel Opening Day and the first two series of the 2022 regular season.
When a new CBA was finally agreed to end the 99-day work stoppage, Manfred agreed to reschedule the lost matches to ensure a full schedule would be played.
In another attempt to mend relations, Manfred presented players with a gift box containing a pair of Bose headphones and a note of appreciation on opening day, via Stephen J. Nesbitt of The Athletic:
Rob Manfred said he needs to mend his relationship with MLB players post-lockdown. Here is a small gesture from Opening Day. Each player had a gift box waiting at their locker with Bose headphones and this “note of appreciation” from Manfred inside. pic.twitter.com/kxHnGcoaQT
—Stephen J. Nesbitt (@stephenjnesbitt) April 10, 2022
During his press conference to announce the end of the lockout, Manfred said he wanted to improve his relationship with the players, which has steadily declined since he took over as MLB commissioner in 2014. “One of the things I’m supposed to do is promote a good relationship with our players,” Manfred said at the time.
“I tried to do that. I think I failed at that. I think it starts with small steps. That’s why I picked up the phone after ratification and called Tony (Clark) and expressed my desire to work with him.
“It will be a priority for me to try to keep the commitment I made with him on the phone.”
Manfred plans to meet every team during the 2022 MLB season
Having repeatedly admitted that he has failed to facilitate positive relationships between himself and the players, Manfred plans to meet with every team this season and has left the door open for players to tour MLB headquarters.
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