The role of commissioner is not an easy job, I admit at first. But when the person in question isn’t a rallying point, most players hate you, and fans are tired of your questionable claims, it might be time to pass the torch on to someone else.
Major League Baseball lost its case last week and will have to pay former baseball players $185 million because they were underpaid during their time in the minor leagues. And since the following days, Manfred states during the break in the All-Star Game, that according to him, the junior league players are treated well and that with everything the teams offer, they earn more than minimum wage. This comment once again infuriated many people, especially since the commissioner earns…$17.5 million a season.
A delegate likes to be in control
Rob Manfred is 64 and took over from Bad Selig in 2015. His current deal expires after the 2024 season and he looks like a man who doesn’t receive much criticism. The proof is that he fired MLB reporter Ken Rosenthal for daring to criticize him on air. I understand that the network is partially owned by Major League Baseball (67% to be exact), but Rosenthal has been a part of that network since its inception in 2009 and has been a very credible man in Major League Baseball. I think an email, text, or call would have been more than enough to get him into the system, but Commissioner Manfred wanted to show who’s the king and master.
Clearly, managing the recent collective agreement certainly hasn’t helped his image. Manfred has been criticized on all sides for his lack of leadership, and will still keep the furniture by making sure there is a baseball game in 2022. Every time he gave players an ultimatum and didn’t respect it, his credibility melted like snow in the sun. The situation is still tense between the owners and the players union and Manfred has a lot to do with this matter
And what about managing teams in Oakland and Tampa Bay. The commissioner has been telling the same stories and repeating the same threats for years. However, nothing moves in these two files. And even Mr. Manfred dares to talk about expanding to 32, when he doesn’t finish caring for two drops of hot potatoes. And let’s be clear, the issue of joint trusteeship between Montreal and Tampa Bay is not a part of my thinking, because despite all the work that’s been done, there are still a lot of questions outstanding about the issue going forward and the union players haven’t believed either.
Managing the new regulations file could be an important file for Rob Manfred’s future. Often, players have criticized him by stating that he does not seem to like baseball, a blame that can also be directed at Gary Bateman regarding hockey. Baseball is losing ground in the United States compared to football and basketball and needs to find a way to speed up the flow of matches, but also increase attack and decrease strikes. Undoing special defenses and accessing a disc to force the shooter to work more quickly are all part of the possibilities. But we must not distort the game and frighten our current fans.
Candidates to replace him?
Many names are circulating in the baseball world as a potential replacement for the Commissioner. Theo Epstein is often cited. The former general manager of the Red Sox and Cubs is now a Major League Baseball employee and appears to be the frontrunner. He has a great passion for baseball and also praised for his qualities as a manager, he could be the right person.
Derek Jeter is also a frequently referred to name. The former Yankees shortstop was part of the Marlins organization when he abruptly left in 2021, due to misunderstandings in team management. He definitely has charisma and some experience, but I’m not sure he’d have the personality, especially since he never liked controversy.
Rob Manfred is certainly more popular with MLB owners than baseball fans, although some owners resented the concessions made to sign the new collective agreement last April. But the greats of baseball know that the popularity of their commissioner can have a huge impact on their sport. I think Adam Silver in the NBA is a great example. Even if he’s not unanimous, he seems closer to and alert to his players than any other commissioner in the major league.
So if Rob Manfred wants to stay after his contract expires, he’ll have to change his attitude toward the players, show more leadership and convince even the most skeptical that he’s there for the love of baseball and not just for the paycheck.
“Evil thinker. Music scholar. Hipster-friendly communicator. Bacon geek. Amateur internet enthusiast. Introvert.”