The Rundown: Manfred Reverses Spin on Season, Players Blast Owners, Sosa Continues Push for Wrigley Reunion
“Some people have no idea what they’re doing, and a lot of them are really good at it.” – George Carlin
Rob Manfred, am I right? George Carlin is no longer with us but he surely prophesied the reign of MLB’s current commissioner before passing 12 years ago. I think the only blessing for Manfred right now is that the ongoing labor strife has deflected from every single shitty idea to “improve” the game he has proposed or implemented since taking the podium for the first time in 2015.
I’m not sure if the word is still used, but the guy is a real tool. That’s Gen-X for a delusional jackass who holds himself in higher regard than anybody else. You’re welcome.
So, Rob, explain to us how you can be 100% sure that there’s going to be baseball but not confident there will be baseball at the same time? hmmm. What changed between those statements ?? Players told you to set the season, but it’s too early to set the season right now,
— Trevor Bauer (@BauerOutage) June 15, 2020
Manfred walked back his statement from last week that there will be a 2020 season, an announcement he endorsed at the time by adding that he was 100% certain of that fact. He confessed last night that he now has doubts. Since the owners have refused to budge, and because the players shouldn’t give in any further, we’re limited to watching Asian professional baseball, half-assed documentaries, and reruns of classic baseball games going back as far as the 1940s. Just this morning I watched a replay of the World Series perfect game by Don Larsen and Game 7 of the 1971 World Series.
Earmuff the kids, but what in all fuck is going on here?
I rarely frequent MLB Trade Rumors but I was bored last night so I decided to scan their scrolling feed to see if I could find any hope that some agreement between the players and owners might be reached. Instead, I found a manifesto of sorts written by a labor economist who proposed that both sides need to start moving a little more toward the middle. Why is it so easy (or perhaps convenient is a better word) to forget that the players have already made concessions?
Not once, but twice this weekend, I had to explain to two baseball fans in my family that players WERE asking for pro rated play, at best. Both legitimate baseball fans thought they were rejecting "80%" proposals because they wanted their full salaries.
Too many think that.
— Michael Cerami (@Michael_Cerami) June 14, 2020
Preach, my brother.
As fans, we are being held hostage by labor discord owned 100% by baseball’s confederacy of dunces. Some of the game’s biggest supporters are already past their breaking points and we still have to play all of next year with the cloud of the next labor agreement hanging over that campaign. Sorry for throwing a lasso around that fatted calf, but barring a vaccine for COVID-19, the 2021 season could start in empty stadiums or with extremely limited live viewing audiences, making further requests for payroll adjustments likely.
So you’d think that, at least for the good of the game, Manfred would be a little more heavy-handed in nudging the owners to move closer toward mediation. Considering the commissioner’s track record of stapling his legacy to every move he makes, that’s probably pure folly. A heart that beats black will never know the warmth of red blood. Your fanaticism for the game means nothing to him because it means little to the owners, no matter how many Benjamins you’re willing to ante up just to go to a game.
Carlin, in my opinion, was a genius when it came to common sense, and I’ll close with another quote by the socially-forward comedian.
“People can’t seem to get it through their heads that there is never any healing or closure. Ever. There is only a short pause before the next “horrifying” event. People forget there is such a thing as memory, and that when a wound “heals” it leaves a permanent scar that never goes away. What really ought to be said after one of these so-called tragedies is, ‘Let the scarring begin.’”
Cubs News & Notes
- Add Willson Contreras and Yu Darvish to the growing list of players who think Manfred is full of crap. Of course Darvish was nothing short of hysterical in his response.
- The Cubs signed another UDFA yesterday, welcoming Minnesota RHP Sam Thoreson to the organization.
- Retired reliever Turk Wendell took a few shots at the legacy of Sammy Sosa yesterday, calling the slugging outfielder out as selfish and for being a poor teammate.
- Sosa continues to push for a Wrigley reunion.
- The embattled slugger also continues to deny that he took steroids.
- This week marks the anniversary of what I think is the best trade the Cubs ever made: acquiring Rick Sutcliffe, George Frazier, and Ron Hassey from the Indians for Joe Carter and Mel Hall.
- First round draft pick Ed Howard intends to be a model citizen as a professional ballplayer.
- Howard has an advanced training routine that really impressed the organization’s scouting department.
- Second round pick Burl Carraway could make his MLB debut this year if a season actually begins.
Find Your Inner Hero
Good morning, Anthony Rizzo.
Tell us when and where! We are ready!
— Anthony Rizzo (@ARizzo44) June 16, 2020
Odds & Sods
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has reversed course and is asking teams to consider signing exiled quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Meanwhile, Ben Carson is going to coach Donald Trump to ease up on his stance regarding kneeling during the national anthem. And wouldn’t you know it, I have a solution for the divisiveness that is rooted in the misunderstanding of that gesture.
Apropos of Nothing
I know a lot of you enjoy the music and cultural references tied to my daily post, so, yes, I quite enjoy Steely Dan. In fact, the “Dan” was my jumping point for my love of jazz greats like Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and my personal favorite, Milt Jackson.
MLB News & Notes
MLBPA chief Tony Clark is more than a little angry with Manfred’s double-talk.
At a time when baseball genuinely needs a leader, the commissioner has fallen way short.
It not really anything that hasn’t been speculated before, and in fact our own Evan Altman touched on it previously, but some owners may feel it is in their best financial interests to not play at all this year.
Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic echoed Evan’s thoughts yesterday (subscriber content).
Baseball is redefining the term “moneyball” in the greediest ways.
Many fans will never forgive Manfred and the owners, or worse, the game they love.
Some unidentified MLB players and organizational staff have tested positive for COVID-19. Convenient timing.
Owners are using those positive results to justify playing as short a season as possible.
White Sox executive VP Kenny Williams shared a powerful personal story about racism.
The baseball that Mark McGwire hit for his 70th home run in 1998 once sold for over $3 million, but its current value sits in the neighborhood of $250-300k.
Sliding Into Home
Father’s Day is coming up this weekend and though there will be a dearth of real sports to watch there’s nothing wrong with hitting the links with your father (or son) and enjoying a heart-to-heart talk or two along with few refreshing beverages. If there is a single positive to a lack of televised sports, its that we have plenty of opportunity to get outside, and to build stronger familial bonds. Cheers.
Read the room, Rob.
“I’m 100% confident there will be a season” -Rob Manfred
“Tell is when and where.” -MLBPA
“I’m not confident there will be a season in 2020.” -Rob Manfred
This all transpired within a weeks time. pic.twitter.com/0HiKwZnK9F
— Baseball Quotes (@BaseballQuotes1) June 15, 2020
They Said It
- “Players are disgusted that after Rob Manfred unequivocally told players and fans that there would 100% be a 2020 season, he has decided to go back on his word and is now threatening to cancel the entire season. Any implication that the Players Association has somehow delayed progress on health and safety protocols is completely false, as Rob has recently acknowledged the parties are ‘very, very close.’” – Tony Clark
Tuesday Walk Up Song
Corduroy by Pearl Jam (Live at Wrigley Field) – Mood.
“I don’t want to take what you can give
I would rather starve than eat your bread
I would rather run but I can’t walk
Guess I’ll lie alone just like before.”