Where have you gone … Bud Selig?
Allegany Radio Corporation Sports
So what’s that zany Commissioner of Baseball up to now? Tell you what, with this cat, if there are no more cookie jars for him to get his hands into, he just fires up the kiln and creates a new one.
Does Rob Manfred even like baseball? He sure doesn’t seem to.
Pitch clock … Put a runner on second base to start extra innings … The no-pitch walk …Too many home runs … Too many strikeouts … Robot umpires (and hasn’t his watch involved enough technology to last a lifetime?) … Relief pitchers face a three-batter minimum … Eliminate Minor League teams … Now pick your own playoff opponent on a canned We Want To Be Like Selection Sunday and NBA Draft Lottery television show.
You don’t wear your XFL envy well at all, Rob. You’re merely trying to create a mutated version of a game that 70 million fans still paid to attend last season.
George Bernard Shaw wrote in Back to Methuselah, “Some men see things as they are and say, ‘why?’ I dream things that never were and say, ‘why not?’ ”
Rob Manfred says, “I see the game of baseball as it’s been played for over 150 years and say, ‘why?’ Then I dream of the baseball game I saw on “The Jetsons” and say, ‘why not?’ ”
A utopian society is an ideal society that does not exist; a baseball game is the closest thing to utopia in this society that does. The game is not managed, timed, controlled or contrived; the game is timeless and takes care of itself.
“You can’t sit on a lead and run a few plays into the line and just kill the clock,” Earl Weaver once said after a World Series loss. “You’ve got to throw the ball over the damn plate and give the other man his chance. That’s why baseball is the greatest game of them all.”
Leave the game alone, Rob. Find another way to line your bosses’ pockets without trying to destroy the pants. By the way, did you notice the so-called small-market Kansas City Royals are about to be sold for (please note the Dr. Evil “quotation marks” you are not going to see) one billion dollars? So something must be working, eh?
Thus, with all that is the evil of the autocrat playing commissioner, it must now be assumed that all aspects of the baseball playoffs of the future that were “leaked” (those are Dr. Evil quotation marks) to the media late Monday evening will lead directly to the demise of the game of baseball. Correct?
Not so fast, Chumley. Some of it, I’m actually okay with.
Though, to qualify, Trevor Bauer is right about one thing — Rob Manfred is a joke. He doesn’t love baseball; he doesn’t even like it because he doesn’t understand it. He just doesn’t get baseball.
All he — yes, the current Commissioner of Baseball — ever says about the game of baseball is how bad it is, how slow it is and how boring it is. He no more has the best interests of baseball at heart than I do Duke basketball. But some of this “yet” to be proposed playoffs plan, I’m okay with.
First of all, Manfred’s job is to fill the owners’ pockets, so the postseason is going to expand, whether we like it or not. And, as the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the players, as well as MLB’s television deals with ESPN and TBS expire after the 2021 season, new and expanded playoffs become a very attractive lure for the players to negotiate and for the networks and the streaming services to bid for.
(Fox’s deal with MLB for the World Series, two Division Series and a League Championship Series runs through 2028.)
Seven teams from each league making the postseason — three division winners and four wild cards — seems reasonable enough. Yes, that does constitute nearly half of each league, but since postseason expansion is inevitable, seven from each league will do. But no more.
The teams with the best records in each league receiving wild-card round byes works, and the two other division winners and the top wild-card team hosting all games of three-game series in the wild-card round works as well.
That, of course, would mean no more one-game wild-card elimination, which, with no inevitable postseason expansion, I’ve always been okay with. But (have you heard?) postseason expansion is inevitable, so play best-of-three on consecutive days, with no travel, and the divisional round begins at the same time on the calendar that it always has. That works.
Now the part that doesn’t work is the part about the two other division winners getting to pick their wild-card round opponents from three other wild-card teams, with the top wild-card team playing the unpicked team; for that, my friends, is sheer madness, and not the kind of fake March Madness the yutz commissioner is pretending to create.
Nobody is this stupid, not even Rob Manfred. Thus, look for the select-your-own-opponent part of this “proposal” to be put on the table for the purpose of being taken off the table in a fake show of “compromise.”
Meanwhile, as Rome continues to burn at the hand of the Houston Astros and, perhaps, the Boston Red Sox, Rob Manfred fiddles with a new postseason proposal to distract us for yet another day.
Is this guy beginning to remind you of anybody?
Mike Burke writes about sports for Allegany Radio and Pikewood Digital. He began covering sports for the Prince George’s County Sentinel in 1981 and joined the Cumberland Times-News sports staff in 1984. He was the sports editor of the Times-News for nearly 30 years. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @MikeBurkeMDT
Where have you gone … Bud Selig?