Much to the dismay of most Major League Baseball players and fans of the game, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred is not going anywhere – at least not for the foreseeable future. Ever since taking office on January 25, 2015, Manfred has managed to win over the hearts of the 30 MLB team owners while stunning and silencing players and fans alike with his outrageous agenda.
Manfred Not Going Anywhere: The Agenda
With Manfred, the objective is all about the pace of play, and not about the preservation of a sport that Americans, Canadians, and others have embraced for over a century.
Three-batter minimums, automatic baserunners, and limited mound visits are just the tip of the iceberg, and pitch-clocks are coming. Every move Manfred makes is designed to draw younger crowds – many of whom have the attention span of a gnat. Meanwhile, the older “purist” fans are being driven away from a lifelong passion for the game, as it’s barely recognizable to someone born before 1985. Despite the unpopular view on his many changes, Rob Manfred is not going anywhere for a while.
The Rob Manfred Smokescreen
First of all, contrary to popular belief, Manfred can’t be fired, per se. Just as he was voted in by the team owners, he must be ousted the same way. Why would the owners do that? Stop to consider the fact that Manfred caters to them, which ultimately helps him further his own agenda. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.
Many players can see through Manfred’s smokescreen, but none are as outspoken on the subject as Trevor Bauer. Bauer openly takes shot after shot at Manfred, never apologizing for one iota of it.
I have the privilege of knowing some players, and most have told me that while he may be overly outspoken, Trevor Bauer (now a free agent) is absolutely right in his opinions.
Bauer sees the writing on the wall, and God Bless him, he isn’t afraid of any repercussions from Rob Manfred. Bauer could be subjected to fines from the league, but thus far Manfred has taken the criticism in stride – well, at least outwardly. Despite the bashing from players and fans, Rob Manfred is not going anywhere, as he continues his agenda and reign over MLB.
Rob Manfred (born 9/28/58) has a B.S. Degree from Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations and a law degree from Harvard. Think about labor relations and lawyering for a minute… doesn’t that usually indicate someone who knows how to negotiate for the greater good? The way Manfred unilaterally changes rules at will certainly doesn’t signal that.
Manfred has worked in Major League Baseball since 1987 when he was involved in the CBA process and was also involved in the strike of 1994-1995. He may have scored points with players back then, but he certainly isn’t doing so now.
Bad for the players usually equates to good for the teams, which is why Rob Manfred is not going anywhere. Take the 2020 season as an example. The teams, the MLBPA (Players’ Union), and MLB all wanted a season with as many games as possible, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, with players allowed the choice to opt-out for safety concerns.
The MLBPA offered a schedule consisting of roughly 100 games, with playoffs and the World Series lasting through Thanksgiving. Manfred’s offer? 60 games at full pro-rata salaries. Players were outraged. When the team owners and MLB figured out that they’d lose money (with negotiations hovering around 80 games), Manfred unilaterally decided on 60 games and full proration. His options? Take it or leave it as he backtracked while preparing to cancel the season.
Get Used to It: Take It, Or Leave It
That “take it or leave it” approach has been a staple of Rob Manfred’s agenda since his inception as MLB’s Commissioner. No, the owners won’t vote him out, and sadly, the players don’t get a say in who gets to sit in the big-boy chair in the Commissioner’s office. Players deserve a say in who governs their game, and a commissioner should look to please all sides whenever possible. Manfred doesn’t care though and the team owners love it, which is precisely why Rob Manfred is not going anywhere.
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