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Commissioner Manfred + the proposal to rip baseball from 42 communities

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  • Commissioner Manfred + the proposal to rip baseball from 42 communities

    I recently published this excoriating response to the Commissioner's effort to eliminate 42 minor league baseball teams for the sake of ultimately negligible cost savings.

    https://www.capitalfrontiers.com/sin...an-Small-Towns

    I'm really surprised at the tepid feelings about the Commissioner on this board. From the flurry of bad idea gimmicky rule changes that come from his office at breakneck speed, to his nationally embarrassing bungling of the cheating scandal, to his clueless inability to diagnose the reason baseball isn't popular with kids today (the pitch clock will solve everthing, right? Not lower prices? Not de-centralizing MLB Media?), he seems to me like a complete and utter disaster. I've seen numerous editorials about how baseball needs to dump him fast, so I'm curious why this board is so tepid on him.

    The minor league thing really angers me. I get all the reasons why it's efficient to cut some low-attendance teams off the list, but the reasons being offered for it (literally a grand total of $22 million in savings), and the utterly callous and bullying way Manfred has approached it suggest to me he really doesn't care about the fans or give a crap about baseball other than making the MLB the most efficient mechanical engine it can be. For this period in the sport's history, in which we need to re-invigorate the sport's popularity among kids, he really seems like the worst possible person we could have leading the sport. Am I wrong?
    http://capitalfrontiers.com

  • #2
    It's a lot worse than this. MLB actually lobbied Congress--successfully--to exempt minor leaguers from the minimum wage law. They did raise minor league salaries this year, but they're still absurdly low compared even to the minimum salary of a player on a big league roster. I think Triple A players make roughly $3000 a month, while it's less the further down you go. Some players are making as little as $5000-6000 per year.

    I understand there are something like 6000 minor league players. To pay them all $50K per year would cost $300 million, about the size of a single multi-year contract of one of the highest paid major leaguers. Or about $10 million per major league team.

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    • #3
      Speaking for myself, Manfred is without doubt the WORSE commissioner in MLB history! He should be kicked out by the owners. Unfortunately, they are only focused on short term greed rather than the long term health of the game.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by redbuck View Post
        For this period in the sport's history, in which we need to re-invigorate the sport's popularity among kids, he really seems like the worst possible person we could have leading the sport. Am I wrong?
        Okay, several points. First, your premise is not wrong, but your target of your anger is out of place. Manfred is the owner's commissioner, in much the same if not identical fashion as Selig had been. Personally, I would love to have an owner with Commissioner Fay Vincent's views, or of the views of his predecessor Giamatti. However, Vincent had not placed owners' priorities foremost, and he was removed for that reason. Both Selig and Manfred act on owners' wishes because they recognize who they work for. That is sad, and I am just as annoyed and angered about that today as when Selig assumed the position.

        Second, the problem is that the perception among many fans is that Selig produced a "growth" of baseball through expansion, increased attendance, and increased revenue due in great part to the increase in ticket prices, parking charges and prices on concessions. As fans, we hate it, but then a large subset of fans recognize Selig as a commissioner who "grew" baseball in this fashion whether we like it or not.

        Third, all along I despised Selig and I still believe that both Selig and Manfred pursue practices we learned in the childhood fable. Both commissioners have consistently given away the goose that laid the golden egg. Evidence to support this exists, but fans continue to point to counter-evidence that their selective processes (attention, perception and retention) can find. Fans continue to see what they wish to see. They believe what fans wish to believe despite the developments of destroying the roots of the game by proposing major damage to the minor leagues. We know this is the very root of baseball. I.E. Cardinal fans have Branch Rickey's network of minor league franchises to thank for the network of broadcast stations which developed in those minor league towns. Rickey would be aghast at the proposals MLB has for the minors, but he can't speak from the grave. Alas, cold fact.

        You are very correct on your anger, but that anger must be placed toward the nimrod, landlord owners who wouldn't know a ballplayer from a bean counter.


        Catfish Hunter, RIP. Mark Fidrych, RIP. Skip Caray, RIP. Tony Gwynn, #19, RIP

        A fanatic is someone who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. -- Winston Churchill. (Please take note that I've recently become aware of how this quote applies to a certain US president. This is a coincidence, and the quote was first added to this signature too far back to remember when).

        Experience is the hardest teacher. She gives the test first and the lesson later. -- Dan Quisenberry.

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