Mike Brosseau Showed Rob Manfred Is A Terrible Commissioner

Last night, Mike Brosseau hit an eighth inning go-ahead homer off of Aroldis Chapman to help send the Tampa Bay Rays to the ALCS. It was an incredible postseason moment:

There were many reasons why it was phenomenal story. The Rays entire payroll makes less than Gerrit Cole. In September, Chapman was suspended for throwing at Brosseau’s head (only for the appeal not to be addressed until next year). Mostly, it was incredible because Brosseau was an undrafted free agent.

Brosseau played for Oakland University in college. Oakland University is a mid-major team playing in the unheralded Horizon Conference. Their home field has at times been in an unplayable condition.

Players like Brosseau aren’t supposed to make it to the Major Leagues, but that’s the beauty of short season baseball.

Short season baseball gives Major League teams the opportunity to identify previously overlooked talent. It gives them a chance to give a player a chance in a much better baseball environment to see if they can blossom. Every team has a story of why this is great.

Take the Mets for example. Mike Piazza wears a Mets cap on his Hall of Fame plaque. That never would’ve been possible had the Los Angeles Dodgers drafted the 1B/DH with their 62nd round pick to look to move him to catcher.

In 2016, an injury riddled Mets team probably misses the postseason if T.J. Rivera didn’t get his opportunity to play at second everyday late in the season. Like Brosseau, Rivera was an undrafted free agent.

Now, none of these three players likely get a chance because there’s no longer a place to give them an opportunity. Rob Manfred has eliminated these short season leagues for no other reason than to save money.

The Appalachian League is now the equivalent of a Midwest Cape Cod League. That may be good for scouting, but it does little to nothing to develop players like Brosseau.

No, Brosseau is a player who won’t get a chance starting next year. With that, future postseason series will be effectively be forever altered because Brosseau wouldn’t have even had a chance to develop into a player to take that at-bat against Chapman.

In the end, last night just wasn’t a great moment for the Rays, it was a complete indictment of how terrible a commissioner Rob Manfred is.