MLB Opening Day Can Be the Worst Day of the Year

MLB Opening DayDoes MLB opening day get you fired up for all the wrong reasons?  I agree, you should have been assigned onto your Club’s 25-man roster.  In fact, I believe you should have started today.

Here are a handful of reasons players get upset for not being named to the active roster on day one (1) of the MLB season:

  • They were never told their Club made this decision five (5) days ago,
  • They lost out on a retention bonus, or
  • They made the 40-man roster but were identified as player 26 through 40.

MLB Opening Day: Problem 1

The first problems many players are forced to overcome is the disappointment of not being added to the 25-man active roster.  If this is your situation, please catch yourself from taking the low road of misery.

As most players acknowledge, baseball is a cruel sport where successful hitters fail 70%. The faster a player can turn MLB opening day into a positive, the faster they can focus on getting themselves back into a routine for success.

I believe the goal to combat problem 1 is to convert energy towards impacting your next performance and your next game after that.  Do you agree?

MLB Opening Day: Problem 2

The second MLB opening day problem players encounter is a misunderstanding of rules impacting MLB roster moves.

First, any player who anticipated being added to the 25-man roster should have expected a formal written notice affirming an assignment.  If you didn’t receive formal notice, likely you absorbed empty praise.  On the other hand, players being told stories may want to consider filing a grievance too.  25 Man Roster

Second, players having an interest in a retention bonus are often surprised when they find out the rules compel a Club to make such decisions at least five (5) calendar days prior to opening day.

Yes, there are specific rules guiding this issue.  The actual rule impacting players eligible for a retention bonus goes something like this:  a Club wishing to move a player eligible for a retention bonus onto the 25-man roster have a deadline of 12 pm Eastern Time five (5) calendar days prior to MLB Opening Day.

I agree, this is complicated.  Thus, every player needs a strong grasp of their specific situation.

MLB Opening Day: Problem 3

Problem 3 occurs when a player misinterprets feedback and they misinterpret information from their Club.  From a practical perspective, a player being moved away from an active roster can expect a written notice stating:

  • An outright assignment,
  • An optional assignment, or
  • A designation for assignment as an optioned player.

But how do you know?  Again, notice usually comes verbally followed by written notice.  So you know, checking roster transactions should not be your first resource.

Is there a MLB Opening Day Deadline?

With the exception of the five (5) day rule referenced above, sometimes players live through a very uneasy process because a Club can make changes to their 25-man roster up to the moment the first pitch is thrown.

For this reason, some players might not know their status until moments leading up to game time.

More MLB Opening Day questions?

Confused?  Please contact me for help and I wish you the best during the upcoming season.