The most unlikeable guy in baseball injected himself into MLB headlines on Friday when a report surfaced that said Rob Manfred threatened a shut down of play would be imminent if rampant virus outbreaks could not be contained. Not only did the commissioner write to MLBPA head Tony Clark about the potential shutdown, additional rumors swirled that he warned networks to prepare alternative programming “as soon as Monday.”
On Saturday, Manfred has a decidedly different tone. ESPN’s Karl Ravech posted a tweet about the change of heart.
Comissioner Rob Manfred tells me “We are playing. The players need to be better, but I am not a quitter in general and there is no reason to quit now. We have had to be fluid, but it is manageable.”
— Karl Ravech (@karlravechespn) August 1, 2020
Of course, Rob Manfred is “not a quitter” when lots of money is involved. Shockingly, the league agreed to expanded playoffs for the 2020 season one day before opening day. The shocking part was that he came to that decision — which was agreed upon by the players union mind you — before teams had even began to travel or intermingle in meaningful games.
It was a bold strategy, Cotton.
Moreover, a week or two before, Rob stated that with the nature of the coronavirus, a regular season of more than 60 games was never truly going to be in the cards. The league offered the union a 72 game season just a week prior to agreeing on the eventual 60 game season. That longer season, of course, included a fat pay cut for players.
In short, the man is about money. Additionally, the argument could be made that he doesn’t give off the vibe of a person that has the health of players in mind. Dodgers pitcher David Price danced around as much earlier this week.
So in a less than 24-hour span, Manfred threatened and rescinded his threat of a shutdown. Instead, perhaps, the league should consider removing the teams with the virus spikes…
Should MLB punish all teams or just remove teams that clearly don't care about the season?
— Dodgers Nation (@DodgersNation) August 1, 2020
What are your thoughts on this?