At the present time, Rob Manfred is still the commissioner of Major League Baseball (MLB) and there’s no baseball. To be clear, I want baseball, and baseball is my first love. For that reason, I look at both the players and Manfred. However, the blame should be squarely placed on the shoulders of the commissioner. Given that I want Manfred out, it’s imperative that I elucidate my logic here.
Let me share a quote from him back on December 2nd of last year:
“We made the mistake of playing without a collective bargaining agreement in 1994, and it cost our fans and our clubs dearly. We will not make that same mistake again.”
Equally important, 1994 was the last time the sport of baseball was locked out. To begin, the 1994 season commenced devoid of a labor agreement set. However, it was the owners’ demand for a salary cap that caused the players to strike later in the regular season. What’s more, then-MLB commissioner Bud Selig declared the cancellation of the 1994 Fall Classic.
Hey MLB and MLBPA remember the 1994 strike that it took YEARS to recover?
Guess what? It's going to happen again.
— Jeff Washington (@jaydwashington) February 24, 2022
In total, the strike lasted 232 days, the owners’ lead mediator stepped down, a federal arbitrator attempted, and didn’t bring the two sides together. Furthermore, owners instituted a salary cap, the union declared all unsigned players to be free agents. Lastly, Selig and the owners tried to fill the rosters with replacement players/scabs.
In the end, a National Labor Relations Board complaint and injunction issued by Sonia Sotomayor, now on the United States Supreme Court, brought owners to heel and ends the strike. Significantly, the entire 1994 postseason, 938 regular-season games were lost spanning the 1994 and 1995 seasons.
Manfred’s Last Stand
In the final analysis, this present lockout is reminiscent of that ‘94 – ‘95 strike. Moreso, the missed games and the gap between the players and owners. Without doubt, Manfred’s quote stands out because the vibes are blaming the players. Here’s the thing: we can pass the blame on the players but it’s the unwillingness of Manfred and the owners.
Rob Manfred is the worst commissioner in sports
— Mason Hall (@LoadedBasesPod) February 24, 2022
To sum up, the longer this goes, the shorter the time Manfred has as MLB commissioner. As I have noted, baseball is my first love and the same is applicable to others. Let’s play ball!
Five days before the deadline MLB says will postpone regular-season games, here's the gap between the sides in their latest proposals:
Pre-arb bonus pool: $95M
Minimum salary: $135K/player
Draft lottery: 3 picks
That's a lot to cover in less than a week. Like, a lot.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 23, 2022
Cover Image – Julio Aguilar/Getty Images