With every nutty and brand-new proposition to modification Big league Baseball, I undoubtedly reach the exact same conclusion: Rob Manfred sure seems to discover baseball in its standard sense definitely abhorrent.
I do not reach that conclusion gently, either.
Although it’s ended up being hip in the last few years to question the commissioner’s love of the game, to implicate him of purposefully attempting to ruin all custom and construct a brand-new, altered version of the sport, it’s been simple to dismiss such takes as simply hyperbolic. As spring training starts and the 2020 season beckons, it’s ending up being more and more obvious to me that these allegations have at least some benefit.
Prior to I get to Team Manfred’s most current banger proposition, let’s re-examine the proof that existed prior to this week. Given that around 2017, the commissioner has actually relatively made it his objective to let individuals understand that baseball, as it exists now, is uninviting. Games take too long. There’s inadequate action. There’s excessive downtime. There are a lot of strikeouts. A lot of home runs. We need a pitch clock. We need to put a runner at second base to start additionalinnings We need to make relief pitchers deal with a minimum of 3 batters. We need to eliminate a lot of small league teams.
They have actually all brought the exact same misdirected concept, simply with differing volumes: BASEBALL Remains In PROBLEM!
Which brings us to Monday, when word came of a brand-new proposition that would eliminate not just baseball’s postseason format, however the method teams approach the routine season. The brand-new strategy would basically permit half the teams to make the playoffs and would consist of a silly reality TELEVISION element to figure out matches. The concept is that more teams in the hunt would produce more drama and more fan interest, significance more teams would invest money, significance more teams would makemoney The proposition, reported by the New york city Post, does not name Manfred straight, however he’s accountable for making sure concepts like this are closed down.
BERNSTEIN: Why brand-new playoff proposition would not lead to more costs
As modification goes, it would be hard to get more extreme. This is not a concept from somebody who believes MLB remains in an excellent location. This is a concept from somebody who sees a significant, unprecendented, identity-shattering shakeup as a crucial element to making the sport more attractive to the masses.
I’ll stop briefly to acknowlege that baseball isn’t without its substantial acnes: unlawful sign- taking, bad small league pay, service-time adjustment, an absence of gamer marketing, ridiculous blackout guidelines, andmore It seems that a concentrate on any or all of those would have much better long-lasting success in growing the game than exploding the semi-traditional postseason technique. And there are likewise genuine concerns to talk about around attendence, ticket costs and TELEVISION viewership. This revamped, reality- TELEVISION postseason concept is a knee-jerk effort at a “fix” that isn’t essential.
I’ll stop briefly once again to state that postseason tweaks have constantly become part of baseballhistory There was the development of divisional play in 1969, growth of the league championship series from 5 to 7 games, the addition of a wild card for the 1994 season, and the addition of a second wild card for the 2012 season. Those changes, it might be argued, were more palitable due to the fact that they were steady. Envision if MLB had actually presented them all at when. That’s sort of what Manfred’s most current strategy does.
However here’s something that can’t be neglected: Aside from Manfred and a couple of like- minded media folks, no one– NO ONE– is requesting for any of this. Many fans, many players and many media members do not lament over speed of play (though length of game is a various subject), a lot of home runs or the need to wipe out the postseason. This is primarily originating from the league office.
I’ll stop briefly a 3rd time to state that I’m not a “get off my lawn” person who believes baseball must never ever alter. I have actually even proposed some guideline changes that I believe may work. I’m even open to tweaking the postseason due to the fact that I believe fans will typically adjust to anything. There are steady tweaks and there are attacks on the sport itself. This playoff proposition favors the latter classification.
FAGAN: Here’s a much better technique to tweaking the MLB postseason
Aside from claims that this or other changes would make baseball more amazing or more attractive, the real goal, naturally, is to put more money to MLB’s coffers. More particularly, the coffers of Manfred’s managers– the 30 team owners. In one regard, one might argue that Manfred is simply attempting to do his task. The problem is that the playoff proposition and all the others appear just intended at making money and not likewise about making the game much better. There’s constantly been a cold, business-first technique to whatever in the Manfred period, with relatively no regard for custom or for what baseball fans really like or desire. There’s relatively no love for the game itself– just a desire to utilize the game as a beginning point to discover methods to line pockets. It’s money over whatever. Not that this hasn’t constantly held true, however I think other commissioners were simply more patient in their technique or simply much better at concealing their objectives.
So, provided all this, I discover it hard to think that Rob Manfred does not have a minimum of some ridicule, or maybe simply extreme passiveness, for the sport he manages. He seems to keep an eye out over the large MLB landscape and see more incorrect than right, more sour than sweet, more chance for dollars than pleasure. He’s not made baseball much better. You might argue he’s made it even worse. And with each originality, it’s simple to visualize a broader gorge.