Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred made headlines this week, again for the wrong reasons. The human sound bite garners headlines whenever he talks publicly about the game. Unfortunately, he usually shows his utter disdain for baseball and its players.
Rob Manfred’s Pitiful Comments on Minor League Salaries
Manfred was asked by a reporter from Baseball America on Tuesday why minor-league players are paid below minimum wage. He responded in part: “I kind of reject the premise of the question that minor-league players are not paid a living wage,” Manfred said. “I think that we’ve made real strides in the last few years in terms of what minor-league players are paid.”
A nonprofit group, Advocates for Minor Leaguers, promptly retorted the commissioner’s claims. “Most Minor League baseball players work second jobs because their annual salaries are insufficient to make ends meet. The commissioner makes an annual salary of $17.5 million. His suggestion that Minor League pay is acceptable is both callous and false.”
Rob Manfred Loves the 2022 All-Star Jerseys
But the commissioner was not finished with his verbal diarrhea. He praised this year’s All-Star Game jerseys and again repeated his abhorrence of players wearing their team uniforms during the game. He praised the designer of the uniforms, Nike, and said that players wearing different jerseys was not “a particularly appealing look for us.” Seeing dollar signs once again, he added that sponsorship logo patches will also be added next year as another revenue source.
Fan reaction to the jerseys was swift and loud, with most commentators calling them “crap” and “the worst American League uniforms of all time.” But Rob Manfred was still not done disparaging the game he oversees. In a wide-ranging interview, Manfred expressed his desire to install robo umps in the big leagues by 2024.
Rob Manfred Draws More Ire from the Baseball Community
Strike 3. Bring on the robo umps, please. 🤦♂️ pic.twitter.com/w3kTLt3srn— Pittsburgh Johnny (@pittboy87) July 13, 2022
Players are sharply opposed to this proposed action to eliminate a human element from the game. Chicago Cubs manager David Ross summed it up best when asked his opinion of robo umps, he joked: “I’ve never met one.” Most players, in general, oppose the idea and believe it is another case of Manfred trying to mess with the game.
Should we be surprised by any of this? The answer is no. Rob Manfred has always treated the players like they were pond scum. And the traditions of the game seem like ancient relics to him whose time has long passed. He is exactly the type of corporate commissioner that baseball owners are more than happy to employ. Oh, what a pity. I can hear late commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti turning over in his grave.