Dick Monfort Is De Facto MLB Commissioner
In December, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said it would be a disaster if MLB was forced to cancel games due to the MLB imposed lockout. On what was the final day of negotiations to save the 162 game season, Manfred was caught working on his golf game.
Associated Press photo taken by Lynne Sladky earlier this afternoon of MLB commissioner Rob Manfred at Roger Dean Stadium, where labor talks are being held. pic.twitter.com/isAzV6P86o
— Michael Silverman (@MikeSilvermanBB) March 1, 2022
Now, you may say that’s unfair or blown out of proportion, but it’s not. Really, this is indicative of what Manfred has been as the commissioner. One minute he’s serving up empty platitudes; the next he’s working at his golf game while others are negotiating.
Consider the fact the lockout happened on December 2, 2022. MLB followed with complete radio silence in their dealings with the MLBPA, and their first offer didn’t occur until 43 days later.
Reporter asks why real bargaining didn’t begin until three months after the lockout started
Rob Manfred literally does not answer the question pic.twitter.com/HQOSQaIQ9L
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) March 1, 2022
When the two sides convened, Colorado Rockies owner Dick Monfort was the main story talking about the difficulty of financially owning a team. It’s an absurd talking point considering Monfort has seen the Rockies value increase a billion in value since he purchased the team.
Despite all that, Manfred echoed those sentiments in his giggling press conference.
Even though Monfort’s antics led to the other owners asking him not to be in the sessions, Monfort returned. Yes, it’s due to his being the chairman of the labor committee.
That’s indicative of his power, and we’re seeing just how much he’s effectively wielding it. For example, consider MLB’s final offer to the MLBPA which didn’t address service time manipulation and made little to no CBT raises.
MLB's best-and-final offer:
– No changes to CBT thresholds (220/220/220/224/230)
– A $5M increase on pre-arb bonus pool from $25M to $30M
– An increase of minimums from $675K to $700K, moving up $10K/year
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 1, 2022
MLB was led by Monfort in these negotiations. It wasn’t just in Monfort’s position but in terms of the offers presented. It was in the nature of negotiations and the offers presented.
Remember, this is the same owner who got in hot water for nasty and angry emails to Rockies fans. In those emails, he actively told fans to not come to the park and said Denver didn’t deserve a team.
We saw that same arrogance in the CBA discussions. When all was said and done, he led the MLB to make a final offer they knew the players would never take. He got his wish with no fans coming to the park.
At the end of the day, the commissioner answers to the owners. When you have an effective commissioner, he leads the owners to where they may not want to go for the good of the sport.
When you have a commissioner like Manfred, you don’t have a commissioner. All power has been ceded, and the organization is left rudderless.
That is, until, Monfort filled the gap. He’s the driving force of these negotiations. He was negotiating long before Manfred showed up. It was the case when Manfred was working on his golf game.
Manfred may have the title of commissioner, but it’s Monfort who acts like it.