MLBRT, 2/12… Rob Manfred the MLB man…

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MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred

There’s a new sheriff in the MLB town and he certainly has some thoughts and opinions that could rock the conservative foundation of MLB as we have come to know it… he may not exactly be the anti-Nutty Professor visage of Bud Selig but he doesn’t seem like he will simply be a cookie cutter copy of what Selig’s modus operandi as the commissioner was either.

With that in mind, maybe it’s time to take a look at some of Rob Manfred’s recent words since he has officially been installed as the commissioner of Major League Baseball.

This weeks’ MLBRT is all Rob Manfred in one way another…

So, let’s get to the MLBRT questions and hear what the crew has to say about some of Manfred’s words…

1) Recently new MLB Rob Manfred told ESPN: “One of the things that I am going to try to do with All-Star Games is…I am looking to be in more of a competitive-bidding, Super Bowl-awarding-type mode, as opposed to, `You know, I think Chicago is a good idea.'”

In your opinion: Good idea? Bad? Or IDGAF?

Archie1-300x277Archie: I really don’t give an F!


The All-Star has become quite “stale” for me. I don’t think I have watched a full game in years. When you see guys make the starting lineup and you KNOW there is more deserving out there, then it seems watered down. So really, you can have that venue in Disneyland as far as I care.

EarlEarl: Reading the question, I was leaning towards IDGAF but the more I think of it, I think it’s a bad idea. Something about rotating the game to the different ballparks, towards the new ballparks, just seems like the right thing to do. Even though I live in New York, I’d hate to see the game constantly played at Yankee Stadium or Citi Field because they keep winning the bid. The variety of moving the game around is nice.

meJoe: I kinda sorta have an IDGAF feeling about this. Why? Because MLB needs to make me care about the All-Star game again before I care about the how of the where the game gets played is done. And, how could MLB do that?

First, they need to take away the fans voting for the players who are All-Stars. The fans picks are just a popularity poll and essentially are significant of absolutely not too much. So in my opinion the vote needs to go back to some type of combination of the players themselves, the managers and coaches and the beat writers who follow each team.MLB_All_Stars_2014

That’s not gonna happen because the fans would finally all get together and be royally pissed off about something… for long enough that MLB would fold to their wishes.

Second, they need to go back to having the game managed and played as if its a real game again. This “every player needs to get into the game” attitude is just silly and turns the game into nothing more than a meaningless exhibition game that stupidly has World Series home field advantage tied to it in an effort to make a meaningless game meaningful.

And, that’s never gonna happen because, if they played as if it was real game and someone got hurt then everyone would be calling for someone’s head… like Mr. Manfred’s. Plus, the casual fans who know little to nothing about baseball would all be in an uproar if they never got to see their favorite player… that they voted for over a thousand times…  play in the game.

If they don’t do those things then the game is just an exhibition that is not worth watching as far as I am concerned… a Spring Training game would have more meaning, and, therefore be more watchable… at least to me any way.

So… bottom line… at this time… IDGAF where it’s played or how its determined who gets to host the game.

Steve-01-288x300Steve: It is definitely an idea, and, maybe a way to generate more revenue for MLB. I don’t necessarily think it is a bad idea for him to throw this out there.pMLB2-19360483dt

Is it a good idea? Only time will tell.

I just don’t think you are going to have much interest for cities vying for the All Star Game to come to their city, when it is basically a meaningless game. Having the Super Bowl in your city far trumps the revenue of having an All Star Game. So the demand just simply will not be there.

2) Manfred also said, “The only piece of advice that I’m comfortable giving is that I think that everyone should keep in mind the difference between players who tested positive and were disciplined on the one hand, and players where somebody has surmised that they did something on the other. I think it’s unfair… for people to surmise that Player A did X, Y or Z, absent a positive test, or proof that we produced in an investigation, or whatever. I just think it runs contrary to a very fundamental notion in our society, that you’re innocent until somebody proves you’re guilty.”

Simply put, it appears Manfred could be lobbying for players like Mike Piazza and Jeff Bagwell who arguably fit the profile of players who are connected to PEDs with no actual evidence and losing Hall votes because of “suspicion of PED use because they look like they used PEDs” by certain BBWAA voters.

 What’s your take on this piece of editorializing by Commissioner Manfred?

Archie1-300x277Archie: I see it that way.petey-and-steroid-player-cartoon

I think, however, IF he really wants to right some of the wrongs going on with the HOF voting and induction, then, the FIRST thing he needs to do is Reinstate Pete Rose and lift his life-time ban. I think that would go a long way toward showing players young and old that he is willing to “heal” the current state of affairs.

The commissioners preceding him in my opinion were, and have been, vindictive in their dealing with Rose. I think, IF you can let a known cheater of the game like A-Rod and Man-Ram come back then you can heal some of the older wounds first.


EarlEarl: As a fan of Piazza’s, I’d hope Manfred taking that stance would help his Hall of Fame bid, but I think it’s a bit much ado about nothing from the Commissioner.

While I personally agree with his stance that it’s unfair to demonize players based off of the suspicion of PED’s and not actual evidence of its use, the court of public opinion has already doomed most players associated with PED’s as guilty.

meJoe:  Not much to disagree with here. He’s right… this entire BS thought process from the writers that someone did PEDs without even an iota of proof because the otherwise worthy player kinda sorta had signs of doing PEDs is asinine. And, because of that asinine thought process that player does not get their vote. And, then just enough other asinine voters do that and guess what? An otherwise worthy player is denied their Hall Call.


Once and for all, the Hall’s voters need to come up with a way to deal with so-called steroid era and move on… and, if, they are going to deny PED users a Hall Call then make sure they do so with proof positive and not any BS and asinine thought processes.  But, I guess asking some certain holier than though sports writers to think rationally might be more than they are capable of doing.

Steve-01-288x300Steve: And, he should lobby for guys like Bagwell and Piazza. These are two guys that only have the assumption of taking PED’s. Never has Piazza or Bagwell been under the microscope, and, to me, have had Hall of Fame caliber careers. Other guys that have been linked specifically can be judged that way, but, other guys who were just naturally strong and put together should not be judged as they have not had that asterisk next to their name.

3) During his interview with ESPN the topic of Barry Bonds and Hank Aaron was alsobrought up in the context of Bonds having the career home run record and some “traditionalists” saying that Hammering Hank is the “true” home run king.

Ruth, Aaron & Bonds
Ruth, Aaron & Bonds

Manfred said: “I know for a fact that, based on the numbers, Barry Bonds hit more home runs than anybody else. And, my view of the world is that, with words like ‘true,’ people have to make their own judgments about those numbers.”

One more time… what’s your opinion on Manfred’s take on this subject?

Archie1-300x277Archie: Could not agree more. I have a hard time listening to the arguments that Hank still owns the record, and, I’m a Braves loyal fan. People need to get over it and move on. Barry has the most homeruns on record… period. In fifty years or so when players will have all kinds of undetectable aides to boost their numbers the record will get broken again. 

EarlEarl: On this I agree 100% with the Commissioner. Bonds has the record. PED’s aside, suspicion aside. Bonds has more home runs than Hank Aaron.bonds record

Case closed.

meJoe: I don’t know. I personally don’t think I will ever recognize Barry Bonds as the all-time HR king, but, unless you erase his records then who is?

I mean, there is the argument Ruth accomplished his totals in less games than Aaron, blah, blah, blah… so, Ruth is really the HR king and blah, blah, blah…

So, ya know what? Manfred is right again…  “…people have to make their own judgments about those numbers.”

And, the record book has to stay the way it is.

Steve-01-288x300Steve: Okay, I’m starting to see a trend here with Rob Manfred. This guy loves to talk.barry bonds vs babe ruth

Well, Rob, you best keep most of your comments to yourself. Like it or not, Barry Bonds is the Home Run King as far as career home runs goes. You cannot change that. There is no interpretation for error. He hit more homeruns than any other player in the history of baseball. Despite what he was on, and, despite what your feelings are towards the guy. Unless you physically go in, and, take that title away from him, or, give him the Roger Maris treatment and put the asterisk by his name and the HR total, he is your leader. Deal with it.

4) Rob Manfred also told ESPN’s Outside the Lines that he would be open to Major League Baseball considering a new approach to legalized gambling: “It’s important for baseball to give fresh consideration to the issue.”promo_baseball

Manfred added that he needs to speak with the owners before developing any MLB official opinion or policy, but, it probably would include support, or at the very minimum a lack of opposition, to any law(s) enacted that would allow sports betting outside of Nevada.


Archie1-300x277Archie: Bottom line is that ANYONE, and I mean anyone, that wants to bet or gamble on any sports will find an avenue for it legal or not.

I think the real question comes to bear as to, “how will each of the major sports profit from it?” All along I think they are worried that billions will be made on their sport without ever making a dime from it. I have said for several years now that Fantasy Sports is ruining the NFL. I have not seen so much impact on Baseball or Basketball but I do believe rules have been changed in the NFL to accommodate Fantasy Sports under the guise of “player safety”.major-league-baseball-rob-manfred-sports-betting

Once legalized gambling is allowed the will be even more changes to the games to accommodate the billions that will flow from those proceeds as well.

So, I guess my bottom line is, no, I don’t like it and don’t want to see it happen.

EarlEarl: Sounds nice. Really does.

Have a hard time seeing it happen though.


meJoe: If, sports gambling throughout the US beomes a reality, then, so what. MLB still has their own rules against gambling and those will be enforced accordingly.mirage bet ticket

Steve-01-288x300Steve: Gambling has been banned in baseball for so long, and, as I am about to respond in the next question, is one of the most ridiculous bans I have ever heard of. The only thing that should be banned is betting against your team and there would be conversation of throwing a game in order to profit. That should be illegal, but, if you want to place a little bet, especially on your own team, then why not?

5) Manfred also told ESPN that Rose’s lawyers already have contacted him regarding pete-rose-baseballreinstatement. Rose has been banned since 1989 because of evidence that he bet on baseball while manager of the Cincinnati Reds. Rose initially denied that fact at one point, but now admits it is true.

Is this the door opening for Rose to get his Hall Call?

Archie1-300x277Archie: WOW! Guess maybe I should have read ahead. You can see my answer to Question #2.

To expand a little more, however, even, IF Manfred lifts the ban, Rose will still have to be elected. It is not an automatic.pete-rose-sports-illustrated-cover

It will be interesting to see how his HOF road will proceed. I am not sure exactly how his status will enter the voting process. He never “retired” so did his time on the clock start and end already? Will he have to be voted in by the Legacy Committee? I’m not real sure how that will work. I do know one thing, IF it comes down to the current BBWAA voting him in he is still screwed. 

EarlEarl: Please, open the door.

I find it so silly that Rose isn’t in the Hall in the first place. If, Rose was purposely betting against his team, throwing games and the like, I’d get why he’d be banned for life but that isn’t the case.

It’s about time Major League Baseball gets past its issues with Pete and let him in. He deserves induction.

meJoe: It would appear so.

I expect some time in the future, during Manfred’s tenure as the commissioner, Rose will do a huge mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maximum culpa and somehow make it seem really, really sincere, and, be, oh so very, very humbly apologetic to MLB.Connecticut v Cincinnati

How the BBWAA, the Hall voters, interpret that is anyone’s guess, but, since I got one… a guess that is… I guess that they will interpret it as an invitation that opens the door for the BBWAA to start voting for Rose’s Hall Call.  

I expect Rose to be enshirtened into the Baseball Hall of Fame within the next 5 years.

Will I agree with that decision to let Rose into the Hall if it happens? Ultimately, it doesn’t matter; its whatever the Hall voters think is the right thing to do. If 3/4 decide he’s in, then, he is in.

Steve-01-288x300Steve: It is time for the ban to be lifted on Pete Rose. This man deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, he was told that if he owned up to the fact… that yes he bet on baseball… then he could be reinstated. He did that, he humiliated himself to baseball fans world wide. He needs to be up there with the best of baseball.

Rose signing in Cooperstown
Rose signing in Cooperstown

What Rose did was wrong, no question about it, he has served his time, taken the criticism of his peers, and, its time to at least give him the opportunity to allow the people of the media, and/or, the veterans committee to vote him into the Hall of Fame.

Keep in mind, just because he gets reinstated, does not mean he is a sure shot hall of famer. He still has to be elected.

I think the question would be, should he be given the 15 years, or, would he just automatically fall into the legends ballot.

Bonus Question: It’s early in Commissioner Rob Manfred’s reign, but, what’s your opinion of him so far?

Archie1-300x277Archie: He seems to be saying all the right things up front. But, like in life “actions speak louder than words.” So, I will hold my final opinion of him until we see him deal with his first disciplinary case OR weighing in on a heavy issue. But, I guess, so far so good.

EarlEarl:  Too early for me to tell.

I like the Commissioner’s stance on a few issues, but, he’s going to need a full year from me before I can give a yay or nay opinion of him. ManfredInterviewImage

meJoe: As the question points out, it’s early… really, very early… in Manfred’s reign but he certainly is coming in with guns ablazing and ready to rock and roll.  I hesitantly and cautiously will say I like his approach to just about anything to be on the table and open for discussion.

But, now lets see where he takes the discussions and what he can accomplish.

Steve-01-288x300Steve: The man likes to talk, and, he has shown his hand on what he wants to accomplish. For now, it is too early to tell. Is he going to be able to rise up to what he wants to do? Is he going to be a take the ball and run commissioner? Or, is he going to let things fall by the waste side.

I think he is going to be a lot like Selig, as he worked under him for so many years. Ask this question again at the end of next season, to give him a season under his belt, then I would be able to respond accordingly.

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