Lockout reportedly close to inevitable
Unfortunately, this is going to be the main topic in this space most mornings this winter based on everything we know. For those who don’t follow the business side of the game too much, the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the players and league expires on December 2, and if no deal is completed by that point then the owners will start a lockout, freezing all transactions and potentially costing games if the stalemate lingers. According to a report from the Associated Press on Monday, the lockout is all but certain at this point.
A few points of clarification regarding this news. First and foremost is that a lockout on December 2 does not at all guarantee games will be missed. Perhaps as importantly is that everything made public from either side during this process must be taken with a big grain of salt. A lot of negotiating is going to be done through the media, and anything leaked is done so with motive. That’s important to remember for all of this. Both sides can and will posture at this point in the process, but when things get closer and the reality of real effect taking place hits in, sometimes that can be motivating enough to get a deal done. I’m not plugged into this situation, but my guess is that we’ll get a lockout, but a short one that will not cost games.
Jeter Downs does it again
Monday was a good day for Red Sox prospects down in the Arizona Fall League. And as has been the case for the early parts of the AFL schedule, Jeter Downs led the way. He hit his fifth homer down in the desert — in six games! — this one a grand slam. His OPS is now 1.565. Triston Casas was the only other position player from the Red Sox to play, hitting a double and a single in the game. Connor Seabold also had a nice showing in a start, allowing just one run over four innings, striking out four and not issuing a walk. Brendan Cellucci did have another tough outing out of the bullpen, however. He allowed two runs on five hits over two innings of work.