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Manfred Is Thinking About It Newsbeat

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Why anger is boiling behind the scenes about Houston Astros’ sign-stealing punishments

The kneecapping of the Houston Astros went off Monday in exquisite fashion. Big names were fired. Draft picks were revoked. A record fine was levied. Pounds of flesh were exacted from egregious cheaters. The optics worked. The Astros’ comeuppance was here, and it was severe. Major League Baseball was righting an obvious wrong.

As the day rolled on and people around baseball pondered exactly what had happened, a less obvious version of the story emerged. It was all so tidy, all so clean, so carefully orchestrated and meticulously calibrated—like something the Astros, ever lauded for their efficiency and ruthlessness, might concoct.

Gone were general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch, first suspended by the league for a year, then fired by owner Jim Crane, even as MLB’s investigation into Houston’s sign-stealing scheme determined it was “player-driven.” Gone too were their first- and second-round draft picks for 2020 and 2021, painful but not crippling. And that record fine? All of $5 million, couch-cushion change for every owner in baseball—and the most commissioner Rob Manfred can levy under the MLB constitution, which speaks to the limitations of the position.

It is a job of extreme compromise, of politicking, of figuring out how to appease the 30 billionaires who are his bosses, and Manfred’s handling of the cheating scandal—the biggest of his commissionership so far and one that cut to the heart of the game’s integrity—offered remarkable insight into how he runs the sport. As much as MLB played the big, bad monolith in delivering the ruinous news from on high, this was not some unilateral punishment for the Astros. It was a sneak peek inside the sausage factory of power and the anger that Crane’s relative acquittal caused across the league.

There are things that could be said about this- problem is, I’d probably get screamed at for saying them…..

 

QLE Posted: January 15, 2020 at 01:09 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dollah dollah bills, y'all, executives, jim crane, manfred is thinking about it

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Rob Manfred: MLB ‘Absolutely’ Will Implement New Protocols by Opening Day to Prevent Cheating

After recent sign-stealing scandals in Major League Baseball, commissioner Rob Manfred made clear new protocols will be implemented by Opening Day to prevent cheating.

During an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci, Manfred said he has considered not making video rooms available to teams once games start. The only monitor available to a team could be a replay screen with an MLB security official standing next to it.

“That’s the first path,” he said. “It is an option. We have talked about it. We are not done on 2020 [protocols], no.”

When asked if more protocols will be in place by the start of the 2020 season, Manfred replied, “Absolutely.”

Wouldn’t it be easier to remove all monitors from positions where teams could have access and have replay conducted by extra officials in the press box?

QLE Posted: January 14, 2020 at 01:00 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cheating, manfred is thinking about it

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Manfred: MLB `flexible’ on minor league cuts, irked by talks

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred countered outcry over Major League Baseball’s proposal to chop 42 farm teams by challenging the minors Wednesday to “move off the take-it-or-leave-it status quo approach” to their ongoing negotiations.

MLB and the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues are negotiating a minor league agreement to replace the contract expiring after the 2020 season. MLB has proposed cutting more than a quarter of its 160 affiliates, citing concerns over the quality of facilities, travel and salaries for players.

Minor League President Pat O’Conner delivered an impassioned speech defending the minors to team executives at these winter meetings, and fans from small towns across the country have been outraged to see their teams listed as being on the chopping block. Manfred has even been roasted on Twitter by presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

Manfred said MLB “will remain flexible” in negotiations and is asking the NAPBL to do the same.

Every generation gets the Bowie Kuhn it deserves….

 

QLE Posted: December 12, 2019 at 01:14 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: contraction, manfred is thinking about it, minor leagues

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Whitewash: Rob Manfred says he doesn’t think sign stealing extends beyond the Astros

Rob Manfred said today that he believes the sign-stealing scandal which has taken over the news in the past week does not extend beyond the Houston Astros. His exact words, via Jeff Passan of ESPN:

“Right now, we are focused on the information that we have with respect to the Astros. I’m not going to speculate on whether other people are going to be involved. We’ll deal with that if it happens, but I’m not going to speculate about that. I have no reason to believe it extends beyond the Astros at this point in time.”

This is simply incredible. As in literally not credible.

It’s not credible because, just last week, in the original story in The Athletic, it was reported that the Astros system was set up by two players, one of whom was “a hitter who was struggling at the plate and had benefited from sign stealing with a previous team, according to club sources . . . they were said to strongly believe that some opposing teams were already up to no good. They wanted to devise their own system in Houston. And they did.”

Commentary on a current scandal, by a long-time site associate.

 

QLE Posted: November 20, 2019 at 12:58 PM | 103 comment(s)
  Beats: coverups, manfred is thinking about it, sign-stealing

Monday, November 18, 2019

Rob Manfred’s plan to destroy minor league baseball

As if they aren’t squarely involved in enough transgressions against baseball, we should not be at all surprised to know the Houston Astros — the Jeff Luhnow Houston Astros — were the ringleaders of the MLB plan to essentially destroy grass roots baseball and contract 42 of the 160 minor league teams.

In recent weeks, details of the plan have been slowly leaking out, the MLB spin being it’s designed to (1) upgrade all the minor league facilities and (2) improve “wellness” for the minor leaguers in terms of travel and living conditions. In truth, as always, it’s designed to save money, lots of money, and the proprietors of these minor league teams, many of whom have their life savings invested in them, be damned.

Here is the plan which is slated to go into effect beginning in 2021:

1. Forty-two of the 160 minor league teams (26%) guaranteed under the present, expiring Professional Baseball Agreement between the majors and minors will be eliminated, most of them from the four short season Rookie Leagues — the New York-Penn, Appalachian, Northwest and Pioneer.

An update to a subject we’ve discussed earlier, with further details.

QLE Posted: November 18, 2019 at 12:08 AM | 188 comment(s)
  Beats: contraction, manfred is thinking about it, minor leagues

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

MLB commissioner says automated strike zone an option when ‘time is right’

An automated strike zone could be inching closer to becoming a reality in Major League Baseball.

In a recent appearance on MLB Network, commissioner Rob Manfred stated that the technology used for the automated strike zone was due for a large upgrade this winter and that further testing and preparation will take place during the 2020 season.

The goal? Get everyone as comfortable with the system as possible so that the MLB can comfortably implement an automated system when the “time is right.”

Mind you, Manfred being who he is, this could very well mean “never”.....

 

QLE Posted: November 06, 2019 at 12:23 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: automated strike zone, manfred is thinking about it

Friday, September 27, 2019

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred: ‘We Need To Make A Change To The Baseball’

With the massive increase in the number of home runs, could changes be coming to baseballs used in Major League Baseball and the Minors for the upcoming season? That was a question I asked MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred as part of an exclusive interview for Forbes.

To date there have been 6,590 home runs in MLB; a new single-season record, and the home run rate in Triple-A, where the MLB baseball has been used, was up 50% for the season. For more than two years, the league has addressed questions from not only the media, but pitchers about changes to the construction of baseballs that have been partly attributed to a spike in the number of home runs in the game. The league gathered a group of scientists that examined the ball as part of the increase in home runs starting in 2015. The league’s report showed that at least part of the increase was due to reduced drag on the ball. Additional research by Dr. Meredith Wills showed that changes to the lace thickness has created a rounder baseball as a likely reason for the change in drag.

Manfred said that the league is going back and taking another look at the baseballs.

“We have reconvened the group of scientists that worked with us before [on the initial study],” he said. “We’ve asked them to take a fresh look at everything that is occurring with the baseball. We expect to get this new report shortly after the World Series.”

Given what we know about Manfred’s decision-making processes, I wouldn’t get our hopes up…..

 

QLE Posted: September 27, 2019 at 12:07 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: home run derby, juiced baseballs, manfred is thinking about it

Monday, July 22, 2019

Everything you need to know about the new and improved MLB Trade Deadline

For a long time, Major League Baseball had the best, most exciting trade deadline among the four major sports. In recent seasons, that excitement has been eclipsed by the popularity of the NBA, but baseball still stands ahead of football and hockey in terms of in-season movement.

In an effort to shake things up a bit, baseball’s trade deadline underwent some changes in the offseason.

Notably, while July 31 has always been deadline day, in past years it was a bit of a misnomer. July 31 was technically just the Non-Waiver Trade Deadline in years past. The month of August has always allowed trades to be made as long as players pass through waivers. If a player is claimed off waivers, his team can either pull him back, let him go for nothing, or negotiate a deal with his claiming team only.

This obviously made for much more limited movement in August, but it was always an option.

“New”, I’ll grant you- but “improved”?

 

QLE Posted: July 22, 2019 at 04:31 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: manfred is thinking about it, trade deadline, waivers

 

 

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