What is going on with the MLB Commissioner? It’s one thing to take up the “pace of play” baton, it’s another to publicly throw the MLB Players Association under the bus when they don’t “keep pace” with your agenda. In 2016, MLB grossed approximately $10 billion in revenue, and has enjoyed an unprecedented era of prosperity and growth. Shame on you Rob Manfred for publicly ostracizing the assets that pay your bills. Clips of him blaming the MLB Players Association for a, “lack of cooperation ” played on repeat Tuesday evening as both sides were unable to ratify his agenda. I didn’t know Roger Goodell also ran MLB! Harmony between the MLB front office and the players is something that previously differentiated MLB from the NFL. Apparently, Manfred joined Goodell in skipping the class on picking your battles, in addition to the class on respectfully handling rejection. As a young fan who suffered through the 1994 strike and cancellation of the World Series, it’s alarming to see how contentious the relationship between the MLBPA and the MLB Commissioner is becoming. Why is Manfred being so aggressive on this topic when it just isn’t something that demands a sense of urgency? Publicly disrespecting the MLB Player’s Union is foolhardy and makes me wonder just how big a storm he may be brewing. Now I know how Sarah Connor felt during the final scene from Terminator when told, “There’s a storm coming”.
In all seriousness, baseball with its 150 year history is inherently resistant to change. I’m the first to admit changes to the game make me hesitant, but Manfred, let’s be honest; if someone can’t enjoy a three hour baseball game, then they probably also won’t enjoy a 2 hour and 45 minute game. Reality check. Improving the game is a worthy endeavor, however, aggressively pursuing “pace of play” is not only a flawed crusade by an inexperienced Commissioner, but a $10 billion dollar mishandling Manfred simply can not afford. Rob Manfred, whatever you do – do not activate Skynet.