MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has been in charge of the league since 2015, but his decisions are getting out of control, and it appears as if he is attempting to change the game of baseball into something much different.
Manfred was initially very open about making the game more modern while keeping the old values of the game intact, and he did a fine job at that for his first few years. But recently, Manfred’s proposed changes and statements have been outrageous, and shows the disconnect between him, the fans and the players.
Most notably, the way that he has handled the outleash of reactions around the league to the Astros cheating scandal. He has said that any Astros player purposely hit, in his mind, will result in lengthy, steroid-like suspensions for the pitcher, which is usually half a season. That punishment is harsher than what the Astros players received, who cheated to win a World Series, and make an appearance in another.
Manfred’s also stated that taking away the World Series trophy is pointless because it’s just a title with “some metal attached to it,.” This statement is one that upset many players around the league, notably, Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner. Turner reiterated the fact that it shows the disconnect between Manfred and the players, and further stated that the only worthless thing on the trophy is Manfred’s name being on the bottom of it.
Rule changes, some only proposed and some that have been carried out and implemented, are also subject of discussion with Manfred. Recently, he proposed a change that would allow 14 teams into the playoffs instead of 10, and letting the best team in each league choose their opponents in the second round of the playoffs after a first round bye. It is a proposed change that no one around the league has taken kindly to, especially Reds starter Trevor Bauer, who is always a vocal person with the league happenings. Bauer stated in a YouTube video for his channel that this idea is bad for the league, making it less exclusive to make the playoffs, and the players, as pitchers rest schedules will be thrown off with the change, potentially injuring them or hindering their abilities come game time.
Additionally, Manfred made the change to have a three batter minimum for pitchers to face before another pitching change could be made. This limits a lot of players abilities out of the bullpen, including pitchers like Oliver Perez and Ryan Buchter, among others, have their jobs in danger going forward because they can not do what they have done for years. Perez has been getting lefties out exclusively since 2002.
Rob Manfed’s current contract runs through 2024, though a petition has been thrown around to get him replaced, which has gotten a few thousand signatures, thought it appears that it would take much more to get Manfred out of the commissioner’s office.