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MLB News: Rob Manfred Defends His Rule Change Decisions and Blasts Fans in the Process

Not a great look from MLB’s commissioner.



Rob Manfred is not a fan favorite around baseball. MLB’s commissioner has made a lot of enemies just in the last couple of months alone, let alone in his time at the helm. His treatment of the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal started off what would end up being months of anger and frustration directed t him. 

Manfred sat down with The Atheltic’s Evan Drellich recently ti discuss his last five years running MLB. In his mind, Manfred believes that the decisions he has made in changes to the game have only improved things. He also believes that the fans showing hate towards him don’t understand how much he cares about the game of baseball. 

I think it’s the discussion of change.Their logic, I believe, is: ‘He wants to change it, therefore he doesn’t love it.’ My logic is: ‘I love it, it needs to be consummate with today’s society in order for people to continue to love it, and therefore, I’m willing to take whatever criticism comes along in an effort to make sure the game is something Americans will continue to embrace.

Manfred also believes that the rules he’s adjusted have been more effective across MLB than most fans give him credit for. In fact, Manfred felt as if fans of MLB severely overreacted to the drastic changes. 

The tiebreak rule. I’m not saying that we’re going to stay with it, I really am not. We went to it as part of the COVID protocols… But if you look at it when prior to the pandemic people talked about it: Oh my God, it was like a crime. It was like you were committing a crime against humanity. Now people have seen it in action and there’s lots of people saying, ‘You know what, this is actually OK.’

It’s not exactly a great look to discount the feelings of fans of MLB, especially as commissioner. But Manfred has made it a habit to polarize the fan base that opposes his decision lately, and that doesn’t seem to be changing. Manfred goes on to mock the feelings of fans with other changes he has made. 

The catcher-collision rule, that was going to be the end of humanity. Turns out it was a good thing. The change on the rule at second base, same thing. The four-pitch intentional walk, nobody even thinks about it anymore.

Maybe its the way it’s phrased, or maybe it’s the way it was written up by The Athletic that makes Manfred sound so arrogant. Or maybe, this is exactly who he is. In which case, MLB needs him to go as soon as possible. 

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. Manfraud loves cheaters Manfraud it’s all about the fans because fans support all this. If fans walk away baseball will never be the same. Look how covid is killing all the profits.

  2. All these changes he has deemed necessary were to speed up the game, but then the DH gets adopted and that is really contradictory to game speed. It is also questionable with the playoff system in place for this year where a mediocre team can reach the playoffs and have a legit shot to beat a superior team in a three game series. Lot of people question the legitimacy of a 2020 World Series Champion, but I think it has been artificially made harder for the favored teams by not giving them any benefit of winning the regular season.

    • 2020 will be like no other season. Writing off the eventual champion before the playoffs begin just to get a dig at Manfred is silly. Of course, the 2020 champion is going to be considered like no other champion before them. There’s only 60 games in the season and all play is regional because of a disease. None of that is Manfred’s fault.

  3. Manfred’s handling of the Asterisks cheating by giving the players immunity will forever mar his time as commissioner. Manfred gave any team the ok to cheat as they kept the championship and none of the players were penalized.
    He should resign.

  4. If Manfred didn’t give immunity to the players, MLB would never have gotten to the depth of the cheating that occurred. I don’t know why people think that the players – with so much at stake – who perpetrated the acts wouldn’t lie to cover their tracks. Please tell me how he could have extracted the truth without granting immunity and I’ll gladly admit I’m wrong.

    • All he had to do was say that the first player who came forward would receive immunity (or a lighter sentence). All the rest who were involved should have received punishment.

      To do as he did is like saying when 20 people are involved in a major heist, I will give everyone immunity instead of one person getting a lighter sentence for cooperating in the investigation.

      That was the worst thing he could have done and he should never be forgiven for it in my view.

      • Walt completely agree with you! When you have a conspiracy of more than 1 person someone is going to talk!

    • Bum someone will always talk. Once one person cracks it all comes out. The Players were the most guilty of the entire thing. The individual players should be banned from the All Star games and the HOF. They are cheaters and did with their eyes wide open.

      All they had to do was grab the video guys or one of the helpers that is not a millionaire. Someone always turns.

      Manfred has forever sullied the integrity of the game. Right now why not figure out a way to cheat? You can win a championship with little recourse by the league.

      • IDK. If a video guy talked he’d never work in a club house again and he couldn’t say with certainty who used the information. If a single player talked – especially if done to save himself at the expense of others – his career would be over. Mike Fiers caught flak from numerous former players for talking and he was no longer with the Astros. And none of the player’s agents would have allowed them to speak without immunity. There was serious money on the line so they weren’t going to open their mouths.

        It sucked but Manfred had no choice if he wanted to stop the cheating. I’m sure he would punished the players if it was at all possible. Now where I think he failed was not forcing Crane to sell. Instead Manfred teed it up for him by suspending the GM and coach for a year. Crane then saved face and took the moral high ground by firing them. Manfred should have suspended the coach and GM for several years and forced Crane to sell.

  5. Manfred did not earn much respect from the rest of MLB players over his handling of the Astros players. He dropped the ball on that big time be letting the Astro players torally get away with it sad but true.

  6. I absolutely agree that he NEEDS to go! If we thought Selig was crappy well Manfred makes me long for those days! What I really hate is his obsession with pace of play! Unless he makes all games 7 innings then shaving off 10 min of a game makes no difference. The casual fans will already be gone and those of us staying will still be there! And mandating this season was the stupidest possible thing he could let happen. Not only is he jeopardizing the health & future careers of all the players – he’s putting their families & all the staff at risk too! And for what? 60 (excuse me but really!) F*CKING games?! First there are reasons baseball is diff from every other sport in that every team plays every single day for 6 months (7 if you count Spring Training & 8 if you make the postseason) but the fact is ANY mediocre team can get hot for a month but the truly elite teams are the ones that can sustain an elite level of play for a long time under a strenuous schedule. Honestly, even though it has helped my team make the playoffs often since its inception, Im against the Wild Card. It should come down to the 2 best teams in each league in a best of seven series & the winners play for the World Title! Ive grown accustomed to one WC & can actually see where it can make certaim years more fair. I can even say that about the 2nd WC tbh (but I despise it with every ounce of my being! And those were Selig’s changes, not Manfred’s – but the WC & the 2nd WC should IMHO only be utilized in years where it is necessary. And the 2nd should be a best of 5! But take 2018 for example, the WC’s were a neccessity. The Yankees, Red Sox, Astros & A’s had better records than the winner of the AL Central and the ENTIRE NL! That’s where I can see having to for example, “institute the WC rules” but it shouldn’t be something we do every year. Take 2014 – neither the stupid giants nor the Royals even won 90 games yet – they botb got hot during the month of Oct & played eachother in the WS – that was a travesty! Despite still rooting for KC neither team deserved to be there! It renders the 6 long months of the regular season completely moot!) Those feelings sum up how I feel about this farce of a season! TWO MONTHS? And the playoff structure is abominable! This is NOT the freakin NBA! It is this year for one reason only and that is the more playoff games on tv, the more money the already rich, greedy billionaire owners will make! They could have been fine with no season at all! Now some crappy a** team could get hot, lucky or both & not deserve to be in the postseason but still take away a trophy from a team that actually deserves it! Its despicable – as is Manfred’s arrogance & disdain & not caring about what the fans think! He thinks his dumbf*ck ideas are going to get more people to come to games?? That’s total BS! I mean, the starting extras with a runner on 2nd is the most asinine idea next to the 2nd WC! All his dumb COVID-19 season rules had better not carry over bc he will be ruining the game that fans like us have loved our entire lives. Over the years changes have been made but they were few & far between. What he’s already done in 5 yrs is disgusting! He’s ruining the game I love and obviously I’m not the only one who feels that way. If he doesn’t wise up he’s going to make a complete mockery of a game that has needed few changes in 150 yrs & he’s going to drive away the fans that love the really love the game & good luck finding ones to replace us. In most cases the love of the game has been passed down for generations, it certainly has been for me. If he ruins things … there won’t be tradition to pass on & he could kill the game fir real. And his quotes (then I’m done ranting I promise!! LOL!) … When he said something like “a crime against humanity” – I literally shouted out loud, ” well it is one!” So yeah. I want that POS gone too! Thanks for the article! Obviously it resonated with me! Go Dodgers! Go A’s! (Well, in a real season … this obe has been too awful for me to pay close attention too! ?) Sorry for ranting but needed to vent!! Again good read! ?

  7. Oh, come now, Internet. Don’t be upset when the Commish responds to the anti-Commish fervor with his own dose of rhetoric. I still hate the DH in the NL, but it’s not because of Manfred that it’s happening. Manfred literally works for the owners.

  8. With the Asterisks players going unpunished for cheating, there’s no reason why Pete Rose and Shoeless Joe Jackson should not be in the HoF.

  9. The disgusting way Manfred handled the Astros cheating scandal alone makes a mockery of baseball. The message it sent is still clear: you can cheat to win and you won’t get punished. If people hassle you, they are the ones who’ll get punished. The people I know who coach Little League are disgusted bc theyve tried to instill integrity in their young players but now there is this example in the big leagues that has taken away those lessons.

    Manfred appears to be either getting paid off and/or really does not care about baseball, the players who play the right way, the fans, and that “piece of metal” (his description of the WS trophy) the teams are playing for.
    I wish he would go away.

  10. So, Manfred needs to destroy baseball in order to save it? :

    Massive cheating scandals brushed under the rug – check;
    humanity stripped out of the game to benefit gambling through endless replays – check;
    massive changes to the basic rules of the game to benefit corporate sponsors – check;
    using and abusing the pandemic to force changes that are opposed by the vast majority of the fanbase – check;
    donating millions of dollars to a group of international marxists who are burning down police districts, destroying the concept of free speech, and causing irreparable harm to our nation – check

    Yep, looks like he’s destroyed Major League Baseball. I won’t be watching whatever they build to take its place.

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