Blue Jays’ Bo Bichette says fans deserve an apology for work stoppage

Toronto Blue Jays' Bo Bichette throws to first base to put out Baltimore Orioles Trey Mancini in the first inning of an American League baseball game in Toronto on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021. (Jon Blacker/CP)

Toronto Blue Jays All-Star shortstop Bo Bichette says the entire baseball industry owes fans an apology for the current labour woes.

“I think the bottom line is as players we need owners and owners need players. But we both need fans,” Bichette said on The FAN Drive Time on Thursday night. “That’s the most disappointing part of it all.

“I think we owe an apology to people who are wanting to watch our game. But I think as a union, we have to do what’s right for ourselves this moment.”

Major League Baseball cancelled the first two series of the season earlier this week after owners and players could not come to a deal on a new collective bargaining agreement to end the lockout.

The top negotiators for both sides met informally on Thursday.

When asked if he could believe it’s come to this stage, Bichette said, “I can’t. I really can’t.

“It’s disappointing, it’s frustrating. But it is what it is. It’s just disappointing with the talent that’s in the game right now that fans are getting deprived of that. The hope is we get on the field as soon as we can.”

Bichette said he’s been working on staying ready at home near Clearwater, Fla., and has seen several teammates in the off-season, including Teoscar Hernandez, Reese McGuire, Jordan Romano and Danny Jansen. He added he might be heading to Miami soon to visit with Santiago Espinal, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., and Alek Manoah.

“That is definitely one of the things we all miss is being around each other and continuing to build the chemistry and continuing to fight for our ultimate goal,” Bichette said.

Bichette said he also spent time in Texas with former star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who helped the Blue Jays end their playoff drought in 2015, to get some pointers.

“Anybody that knows Tulo, he’s probably the best prepared defender to walk the earth maybe,” Bichette said. “So just to go learn from him, learn how to prepare, learn how to know I’m ready, that’s been big for me.”

Bichette said it’s incumbent on players and owners to form a partnership to allow baseball to make progress.

“As players and owners, we need to start working together if we’re going to grow the game,” he said. “We’re in a spot where baseball’s probably not what it used to be. But I think we have so many exciting players, we can gain some traction back. I think that starts with the leadership. Hopefully we can get that done here.”

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.