On Wednesday, the league officially released the 2022 MLB schedule, and fans quickly noticed that they would be treated to an opening day on March 31st — assuming that there isn’t a work stoppage. If every team plays their game on March 31, 2022, it will be just the fourth time since 1968 that every team has opened their season on the same day.
The openers in the National League include the Chicago Cubs at Cincinnati Reds, Colorado Rockies at the Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves at Miami Marlins, Arizona Diamondbacks at Milwaukee Brewers, Washington Nationals at the New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates, and San Francisco Giants at San Diego Padres.
The openers in the American League include the Toronto Blue Jays at Baltimore Orioles, Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox, Minnesota Twins at the Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals at Cleveland Guardians, the Los Angeles Angels at Oakland Athletics, Detroit Tigers at Seattle Mariners and the New York Yankees at Texas Rangers.
Possible Work Stoppage
While it would be incredibly exciting to see all 30 teams start their 2022 season on the same day, there is a very real possibility that there is a work stoppage in baseball before the 2022 schedule, given the rocky relationship between the MLB Players Association and MLB Owners that came to a boiling point in 2020 with the conflicts around a shortened schedule.
The collective bargaining agreement between MLB and the players association is set to expire on Dec. 1, and if the two sides aren’t able to come to an agreement prior to the expiration of the bargaining agreement, a strike or lockout is a real possibility. If there is a work stoppage, it would be the first pause in the baseball calendar since the more than a seven-month strike from 1994-95 that lead to the first cancellation of the 1994 World Series — the first fall classic canceled in more than 90 years.
Major League Baseball schedule makers have tried in three of the past four seasons to have all 30 teams start their season on the same day. The only exception was in 2019 when the Seattle Mariners opened their season against the Oakland A’s at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan. It would be the final game that Hall of Famer Ichiro Suzuki would play in his career. In 2018, games between the Detroit Tigers and Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Nationals and Cincinnati Reds were rained out, only to be made upon a later date.
The 2020 MLB season was delayed until July 23, and the Yankees and Nationals were the only two teams to play on July 23, the first game of the season. The league offices tried again in 2021 but failed when there was a breakout of Covid-19 in the Mets clubhouse, which axed the opportunity for Jacob deGrom and now former National Max Scherzer to face off on Opening Day. Baltimore and Boston also had their game postponed because of rain.
For teams that start on the road, they will open the have their home opener on April 4. The Royals open against the White Sox, the Blue Jays host the Rays, the Cubs host the Cardinals, and the Nationals host the Phillies.
There are also home openers on April 7 between the Yankees and Red Sox in New York. The ANgels host Houston and the Twins open against the Mariners at Target Field. The Diamondback and Padres play in Phoenix while the Cardinals host the Pirates and Braves play host to the Reds.
The final home opener is on April 8 when the Tigers open Comerica Park for the first time in 2022 against the White Sox, and the Rays are the home team against Baltimore, with the Phillies at home against the Athletics and the Rockies against the Dodgers and Giants home against Miami.
Interleague play matchups are between the AL East and NL Central, AL Central vs. NL West, and AL West vs. NL East. The Mets host the Yankees on Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in 2001.
Jackie Robinson Day is on April 15, and the All-Star Game is scheduled for July 19 at Dodger Stadium, the latest All-Star game since 1981. The 2020 All-Star Game was supposed to be at Dodgers Stadium, but like most things, Covid didn’t allow for that to happen.
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