Commentary: MLB lockout: Owners, players can’t agree on solutions — or even the problems

In the final hours before baseball as we know it shut down, Max Scherzer took a few minutes from his obligations to the players’ union to hold a news conference about why he signed with the New York Mets. Scherzer, however, did not pass up the opportunity to explain what the players prioritized in a new collective bargaining agreement.

“First and foremost, we see a competition problem,” Scherzer said Wednesday.

The clock struck midnight on the East Coast, the old agreement expired, and major league owners immediately imposed a lockout.

“This defensive lockout was necessary because the Players Association’s vision for Major League Baseball would threaten the ability of most teams to be competitive,” Commissioner Rob Manfred wrote in an open letter.

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You can start to sense the hostility, and you can start to see the mess. If owners and players agreed that competition was a problem and disagreed on the solution, that would be one thing. This is worse: The players believe competition is a problem and believe they are offering ways to make things better, while the owners believe the players’ proposals would create a problem instead of solve one.

Tell it to fans of the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles have lost at least 108 games in each of the last three full seasons, finishing a combined 158 games out of first place. They have tried to lose, and at that they have succeeded, spectacularly. They also…

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