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Friday, June 26, 2020

Are MLB players really headed for another strike?

In addition to the drama between MLB and the union, both sides are dealing with complicated internal dynamics. Manfred has a tough task in holding together his coalition and softening tensions between big- and small-market teams, particularly on the issue of revenue sharing.

“It’s a three-way negotiation,” explains one club lawyer of CBA talks. “The players and the owners and the owners and the owners.”

Agents and club officials speak of the commissioner in remarkably consistent terms: A smart attorney, shrewd negotiator and more capable business mind than his predecessor, Bud Selig—but less of a consensus-builder than Selig.

Owners and executives also agree that while Manfred protects their interests very well, he does not “love” the game in the way that Selig did. That’s a tough accusation—who can say what’s in another person’s heart, when they may express feelings in their own way?—but it’s one that is repeated often based on time spent in Manfred’s company.

As one senior club official puts it, “I like Rob; he’s just a technocrat.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 26, 2020 at 11:59 AM | 17 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: labor relations

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   1. JJ1986 Posted: June 26, 2020 at 02:30 PM (#5959682)
Manfred doesn't just dislike baseball, he seems apathetic about whether fans like baseball. For all his faults, Selig always wanted baseball to be watched.
   2. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: June 26, 2020 at 03:20 PM (#5959693)
Manfred is considering loving baseball.
   3. Walt Davis Posted: June 26, 2020 at 06:20 PM (#5959748)
For all his faults, Selig always wanted baseball to be watched.

The man who led the charge on "half the teams know they won't make the playoffs before the season starts," threats to move teams and threats to contract teams?
   4. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: June 26, 2020 at 08:05 PM (#5959770)
“I like Rob; he’s just a technocrat.”


My friends say that all the time. (Well, they don't use the word "technocrat", but...)
   5. The Duke Posted: June 26, 2020 at 11:04 PM (#5959789)
He’s just in the wrong role. He should be the Chief Administrative Officer and someone like Joe Torre or Tony La Russia should have the “commissioner” role. The CAO should have most of the roles that Manfred has today except for Public Relations and any “on the field” responsibilities. If Torre was doing the Astros punishment Stuff and leading the PR for the “talks” while Manfred did all the money stuff, minor league stuff, tv stuff and was lead negotiator with umps and players, it would work better. The commissioner should love baseball. Manfred does not
   6. vortex of dissipation Posted: June 26, 2020 at 11:11 PM (#5959794)
William Eckert hadn't attended a baseball game in ten years when he became Commissioner. We saw how that worked out. (Tt didn't).
   7. Walt Davis Posted: June 28, 2020 at 04:59 AM (#5959928)
Thing is, a "technocrat" is gonna do whatever the owners tell him to. Which further suggests an owner split is a major issue -- technocrats generally are not good at building consensus so if the owners can't come together on what to tell him to do, it's gonna be hard to get a deal done. Granted, even if the onwers were united and somebody else was commissioner, I think we'd be heading to a strike anyway.

Selig had many faults but he seemed able to persuade enough owners over to his side of the argument. Manfred doesn't seem to have a side of the argument.
   8. PreservedFish Posted: June 28, 2020 at 10:02 AM (#5959938)
Remember when people used to say that George W Bush should be the next commissioner?
   9. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: June 28, 2020 at 10:43 AM (#5959944)
I think that Bush would've made a good commissioner. He seems like he'd be good at gladhanding a bunch of really rich guys and getting them to not shoot themselves in the collective foot. In the alternate universe where Bush became commissioner quick US diplomatic action convinced Saddam not to invade Kuwait and the average MLB game finishes in 2:40.
   10. PreservedFish Posted: June 28, 2020 at 10:51 AM (#5959946)
Conversely, what do you think would have happened if a shameless traditionalist - Bob Costas - were named commissioner? Used to hear his name too. (I suppose that a couple decades ago people were naive enough to think that the MLB commissioner could possibly be someone that wasn't just an employee of the owners.)
   11. JRVJ Posted: June 28, 2020 at 04:54 PM (#5960034)
9, don't know how feasible that first hypo might have been (Saddam not invading Kuwait due to U.S. diplomatic action - it was pretty much a surprise all around, IIRC), but I would have LOVED for average games to have been kept at 2:40 on the nose.
   12. McCoy Posted: June 28, 2020 at 05:09 PM (#5960041)
Saddam invaded because we largely bumbled the messaging but at the same time Saddam heard what he wanted to hear.
   13. JRVJ Posted: June 28, 2020 at 05:46 PM (#5960047)
12, Saddam invaded because he had had a nut against Kuwait for a very long time and the U.S. wasn't particularly tuned in to local Arab world conflicts like the complicated relationship between Iraq and Kuwait.

Let me put that another way.

Ambassador Glaspie was a State Department lifer who gave a very diplomatic reply to Saddam's entreaties. Could she have been a bit more forceful in advising Saddam not to invade? Of course, but as has been pointed out in different formats, there was no particular reason to give Saddam a more forceful put down at the time.

So yeah, Saddam heard what he wanted to hear, and he was probably going to hear what he wanted to hear, even if a more forceful message had been given to him.
   14. McCoy Posted: June 28, 2020 at 07:16 PM (#5960058)
The US and Glaspie knew there was a military build up a long the border with Kuwait and she and the US failed to ask the best questions or to state the American position clearly. What the US was ok with was the Iraqis playing brinkmanship to negotiate a deal with the Kuwaitis and because they were ok with it it quickly went South.
   15. JRVJ Posted: June 28, 2020 at 09:34 PM (#5960077)
That's pretty accurate.

It's not that the U.S. didn't notice the build up. It's just that they (quite reasonably) interpreted it as saber rattling by Saddam.

IIRC, one of the ironic things about the Kuwait invasion was that Saddam didn't really saber rattle that much. Or phrased differently, he didn't build up or create a casus belli. He just went in, period.
   16. Mayor Blomberg Posted: June 29, 2020 at 01:55 AM (#5960088)
9, 11-15 the hypotheticals are beating around different Bushes, no? Junior wasn't relevant to Iraq-I
   17. McCoy Posted: June 29, 2020 at 08:21 AM (#5960093)
Sure but he went in because he thought he had the go ahead. If the US had been better at statesmanship Saddam when have stuck to saber rattling. Even the Kuwaitis didn't take the threat seriously. They thought the US had their back diplomatically.

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