Atlanta, GA - January 09: An Official Rawlings Major League baseball sits with a glove, lock and chain to represent the lockout between Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) on January 09, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Today, if you are part of Major League Baseball, the players union, or just a fan, is essentially D-Day.

As in Deadline Day; the day Commissioner Rob Manfred declared had to be the day that sport agreed to terms on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement if it wants to start the 2022 season on time, March 31.

According to reports neither side is close to striking a deal. This comes after hours long meetings that took place this weekend with both sides struggling to come to a solution. As a result, they remain far apart on minimum salaries, the competitive balance tax, Super 2 expansion, revenue sharing, an expanded postseason and a new pre-arbitration bonus pool.

Should an agreement not get reached at the 11th hour, fans better get ready for no opening day on March 31. It does not mean, however that the season is over. There is a chance that the sides will agree sooner or later, and the season will begin later expected in April.

One theme that has been consistent is that the players feel they need a good month to get ready for the season. If, by some miracle, the sides agreed on March 1 or 2 to a deal, then one can assume the season would begin within the first week of April, which really isn’t terribly off from when the season normally starts.

If the sides remain steadfast in separate corners (which appears likely), the lockout will drag on deeper into the season schedule and we may not see baseball for months, if not the entire season. That is something MLB and the Players Union can ill afford. Why? Because in today’s day and age, with a plethora of options for fans from streaming movie services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, to other sporting events like March Madness, the NFL Draft, even minor league baseball, MLB could end up not being missed.

Remember life for everyone else went on without the NHL – twice — in 2004-2005 and again in 2012-13 when labor unrest took out the entire 2004-2005 season was canceled, and again some eight years later when three-quarters of the season was shelved.

The key of course is agreeing sooner than later, and the clock is ticking. Remember this is a dispute that has been raging for a couple of years. Both sides struggled to come to terms on a 60-game season two-years ago amid the COVID pandemic, and we were pretty close to seeing the 2020 season canceled.