Rob Manfred Continues To Capitalize On COVID19 Pandemic To Push Agenda
First, Commissioner Rob Manfred pushed to reduce the draft to five rounds. As a result, there, are going to be far fewer minor league players. Entering this season, Manfred had the stated goal of contracting 42 minor league teams and reorganizing the minor leagues. This is now easier.
When Rob Manfred assumed the role of commissioner, one of the things he had wanted to do was have a universal DH. Seemingly, every offseason, this is a story with him having the conversation at GM and owner’s meetings. Despite the fact, MLB is looking to condense a schedule in a shorter period of time, which is a strain on pitchers’ arms and healthy, there is now going to be a universal DH under the auspices of pitcher health when baseball returns from COVID19 shutdowns.
As a contingency to potential expansion, Manfred has indicated he wants to see radical realignment. If there is expansion, there is going to be four team divisions, like the NFL, and that realignment is going to be based on geography, not the old and current NL/AL splits. When baseball does return, there are going to be three divisions with the NL and AL East combined, the NL and AL Central combined, and the NL and AL West combined.
Rob Manfred wants to change the power dynamics and keep more money for the owners. In that, he and the owners are attempting to renege on a deal where the owners and players already agreed to salaries for the 2020 season. Now, he is waging a PR war by going to CNN to claim owners will lose $4 billion if a season is not played. He also renewed his push for the players to take a pay cut.
This box isn’t quite checked yet.
However, he is pushing towards it. Make no mistake here, once the commissioner and the owners know they can renege on deals with the players once they are no longer advantageous to the owners, that’s it. That’s breaking the back of the union, and they can continue pushing for ways to fundamentally change the sport regardless of whether the fans or players want it.
In the end, if you are paying attention, Manfred and the owners are using the COVID19 to push their agenda. While people are dying and losing their jobs, baseball wants players to assume the risk of playing, and they want them to make significantly less than they are due and owing both by contract and by prior agreement.
While people you know and love are sick and dying, and people you know and love are out of work, Rob Manfred has chosen not to dedicate his time to help baseball and its fans. No, he has instead chosen to push forward with his agenda and to gain power in the next CBA negotiations.