CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – The Major League Baseball lockout has been going on since Dec. 2, 2021, marking nearly 80 days that the dispute has dragged on. This week, it has now officially delayed spring training, as pitchers and catchers were scheduled to have their first workouts on Wednesday.
While the Major League players on the 40-man roster cannot attend spring training during the lockout, several team training sites are open to their Minor League players– including the Philadelphia Phillies in Clearwater. Their prospects took the field Wednesday morning, in front of a handful of baseball fans, who are disappointed the lockout is still going on.
“People who have jobs that depend on this, they’re really suffering,” said Mark Blackwell, a fan in attendance at Phillies spring training. “It’s just the millionaires versus billionaires. It gets a little tiring I think for the average person.”
The upside though, is that there is some baseball being played. Die-hard baseball fans are getting to see the minor league players in action right now, which is an aspect of spring training many enjoy.
“I like to see the young kids and how they develop and hopefully within the two to four years that they can make it up,” baseball fan John Bell said. “It’s a shame a sport depends so much on money, compared to right and wrong and what you should do for the sport.”
As far as the Rays go, there is no activity at Charlotte Sports Park right now in Port Charlotte, but they were supposed to have full team workouts on the horizon on Monday, and we are now just 43 days away from their scheduled regular-season opener on March 31st.