Four questions: North America’s big four professional sports

Chris Capuano of the New York Mets takes an out during a 2013 game in Pittsburgh. Photograph: Gene J. Puskar/AP

The story and your answers to five questions

1. What was the last major league work stoppage?

1995. Strike was the first strike of the early 21st century. MLB at this time was still playing a comparatively small number of regular season games, and the old team income-sharing formula still covered much of its income stream. The owners and players had a dispute over who was responsible for paying the over-age players with club options, which was forcing a yearlong free-agent market among players whose options would be exercised the following season. Team owners won this round in June 1995, with Players agreeing to renegotiate their share of revenue and the economics of the league. The sides finally settled at the end of that season in the summer of 1996.

2. Who became president of baseball once owners and players began negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement?

Bud Selig became baseball commissioner in 1992, after eight years as the independent chairman of the Major League Baseball Players Association, and oversaw the players’ side until the strike.

3. What has happened since the last lockout?

The great recession of 2008 affected nearly all industries, and baseball suffered, as well, with the recession (the replacement of rookie full-season players during the 1994-95 season, followed in 1995 by a truncated regular season, was a resulting impact) more than offsetting an increase in attendance in the new post-strike years.

It was 2014 when Selig retired, passing the torch to Rob Manfred, who had previously been baseball’s chief operating officer. Under Manfred, talks with the players resumed, and the current CBA is set to expire in December. Manfred said in January 2015 that he was in favour of extending the current agreement, while baseball’s executive vice-president for business and economics, Dan Halem, said that negotiating a new agreement was also a priority. Manfred and Selig agreed that a deal would need to be reached before the end of 2016, and a separate proposal, that was floated to players in 2015, called for an agreement extension to 2020. “We have discussions to discuss baseball and business issues almost every day. And there is no better partnership than Selig-Manfred. I would love to do a two- or three-year extension,” Selig told WFAN’s Mike Francesa.

4. Who will be this year’s presidential candidate?

Citing political tides, in which Democrats have a good chance of taking control of both houses of Congress in November, the WWE wrestler and retired Republican senator Jeff Foley announced this week that he was throwing his hat in the ring. Foley got in the race on the basis of the presidential election being held in his home state of Minnesota in 2020. He calls himself the “unofficial frontrunner”, although his very mild conservative positions are certain to harm his chances of receiving much media attention. He also faced criticism earlier this month for taking more than $100,000 from the Koch Brothers after the Kochs were widely pilloried for declaring on 18 March that they would spend $889m during the 2016 presidential election, the largest amount ever spent in a presidential election.

5. Which upcoming team actually has a chance of winning the World Series?

The Los Angeles Dodgers, mostly because they have stars like Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins and defending champ Madison Bumgarner of the San Francisco Giants.

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