Ask any knowledgeable baseball fan of a certain age about the significance of Aug. 12, 1994, and you'll get a shudder and a scowl out of them. That's the day Major League Baseball players went on strike, a decision that ultimately led to the cancellation of the World Series and a delayed start to the following season.
For the second time in three years, the Major League Baseball season will not start on time. And for the first time in 27 years, it's because of a labor dispute.
Unable to come to terms with the MLB Players Association on a new collective bargaining agreement before the league's self-imposed, once-postponed 5 p.m. deadline today, commissioner Rob Manfred officially announced opening day will not take place as scheduled March 31, then added he has canceled the first week of the regular season.
For much of Monday, the prospect of the first postponed opening day due to a labor fight looked inevitable. As representatives of Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association gathered yet again at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Fla., for yet another day of negotiations, even the most optimistic observers were left believing a deal couldn't be reached in time to satisfy the league's Feb. 28 deadline to ensure an on-time start to the season.
Well, here we are. It's February. The Winter Olympics are underway. The Super Bowl is nine days away. And pitchers and catchers will be reporting in ... well, who really knows at this point?
There was some news on the collective bargaining front this week, though apparently not positive news. The clock has nearly run out to ensure an on-time start to spring training, though there is still a little bit of time to ensure the season begins March 31 as scheduled.
In the meantime, we'll keep plugging along here and try to keep the content coming every single day. Today, it comes in the form of a Q&A. If you've got a Nationals question you'd like to ask, go for it! Use the comments section below, then check back throughout the morning for my replies ...