The season for Major League Baseball in 2022 was initially planned to start on March 31 and end on October 2. The MLB season was delayed by one week, beginning on April 7, due to the 2021–22 lockout. October 5 is the anticipated conclusion of the regular season. After the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the league and the Major League Baseball Players Association expired, there was a player lockout that started on December 2, 2021, delaying the start of the season (MLBPA).
On March 10, 2022, MLB and the MLBPA agreed to a five-year CBA, which moved forward Opening Day from its originally planned March 31 date to April 7 and included a full 162-game schedule. The universal designated hitter and the 12-team postseason will both be implemented by the new CBA. The Cleveland Guardians, the new name of the Cleveland Indians, were revealed in November 2021. The Los Angeles Dodgers hosted the MLB All-Star Game of 2022 on July 19 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.
2022 Major League Baseball Schedule
On August 4, 2021, Major League Baseball revealed their schedule for the 2022 regular season. Each team plays its four division rivals 19 times for a total of 76 games, plays six or seven games against each of the other 10 opponents in the same league for a total of 66 games, and plays 20 interleague games. There will be interleague games between the AL East and NL Central, the AL Central and NL West, and the AL West and NL East.
On August 11, the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds squared off in the return of the MLB at Field of Dreams game at the specially constructed ballpark in Dyersville, Iowa. The Cubs prevailed 4-2. On August 21, the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles will face off at Bowman Field in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, for the annual MLB Little League Classic.
For people who have not received the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, which prevents COVID-19, there are travel limitations in both Canada and the US. Each mandate that foreign visitors who aren’t citizens enter the country with proof that they’ve completed a full course of an approved COVID-19 vaccination no later than 14 days prior to admission.
2022 Major League Baseball New Rules
- Doubleheaders were played as seven-inning games under a temporary rule that was in place for the 2020 and 2021 seasons.
- The designated hitter became a regular position in the National League. The 2020 season saw the NL temporarily adopt the rule, which was then abandoned for the 2021 campaign.
- At the end of the season, statistical tiebreakers have taken the place of tie-breaker games.
- The starting pitcher can stay in the game as the designated hitter after being replaced by a relief pitcher if the team voluntarily waives the position so that the starting pitcher can bat first. After the uncommon two-way player Shohei Ohtani, this was known as the “Ohtani rule.“
- On March 10, the regulation that established an automatic runner on second base to begin each extra inning in regular season games was abolished. It was then reinstated.
- Because spring training was cut short, rosters were increased from 26 players to 28 players until May 2.
The New Playoff Format:
- Twelve clubs will make the playoffs, with the division champions receiving seeds one through three and the three wild cards receiving seeds four through six in their respective leagues.
- Each league’s top two seeds will get a bye into the Division Series.
- In a best-of-three Wild Card round, the lowest-seeded division winner and three wild card clubs (each seeded based on regular season record) will face off. The higher seed will host all three games. The fourth seed will take on the fifth seed, and the third seed will face the sixth seed.
- The bracket is not being re-seeded. In the divisional round, the top seed will face the victor of the fourth-seed vs fifth-seed series, while the second seed will face the victor of the third-seed versus sixth-seed series.
2022 Major League Baseball Lockout
Following the conclusion of the 2016 collective bargaining agreement between the league and the players’ union, MLB owners unanimously decided to implement a lockout on December 2, 2021. Compensation for young players and restrictions on “tanking” to gain a better draught pick in the MLB were issues that came up in discussions between the league and the union.
Since the 1994–1995 strike, there had been no MLB lockout until 2021–22. The big league portion of the Rule 5 draught was postponed as part of the transaction freeze that was put in place. The Rule 5 draft’s major league phase would not take place, marking the first time since 1920 that it hasn’t done so. However, the minor league phase will still go as planned.
The MLBPA and MLB struck an agreement on a new, five-year CBA on March 10, 2022, almost 100 days after the dispute started. Spring training started on March 17, and Opening Day was on April 7. Players had to report to training camps on March 11. The league intends to play a complete 162-game schedule, and the games that were postponed due to the start delay have been rescheduled.
The new CBA includes modifications such as a pre-arbitration bonus pool for qualified young players, increased minimum salaries (rising from $700,000 to $780,000 over the course of the agreement), a draught lottery to choose the top six picks in the draught, the creation of an international draught, and the creation of a Joint Competition Committee that, starting in 2023, will oversee the adoption of future rule changes (including base sizes and pitch clocks among others). While the postseason will be extended to 12 clubs and the 2020 season will be cut short, the National League started using the designated hitter on a permanent basis after initially experimenting with it during that season.
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