Rob Manfred, team owners think fans are stupid

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said Tuesday that baseball will be delayed indefinitely because he failed to the only work was instructed to do. He didn’t exactly phrase it that way. On the contrary, Manfred said this, in reference to the last years of non-negotiation:

“A lot of the rhetoric was negative when it came to the clubs, the commissioner’s office, me. This environment that someone else created. And it is an environment in which it is difficult to build bridges.

Not my fault, in other words.

Really?

You only had one job.

The baseball will not open on time. Five games have already been lost and will not be recovered. Players will not be paid for matches Manfred and the owners decided to cancel. The cancellation of games is just the latest proof that no one involved cares about the people who made their businesses rich.

You buy the stadiums, you pay for the apps that let you watch. You pay for the tickets, the beers, the shirts, the salaries and the lives that these people enjoy. You are the reason owning a baseball team is like owning a gold mine where the gold never runs out. You just ask that they cash your checks without complaining and that the game continues.

“Concern about our fans is at the top of our consideration list,” Manfred said on Tuesday.

Listen, do us a favor. If you want to put us down, at least try not to insult our collective intelligence. Then explain in detail how cancel games is part of your master plan to please your customers.

It wasn’t even the biggest grump Manfred attempted the podium in Jupiter, Florida yesterday. There was this:

“The last five years have been very difficult years from a revenue standpoint due to the pandemic,” he said.

Apart a review of history few of us knew about it – did you know COVID-19 happened five years ago? In 2017? – Manfred’s statement was a shameless lie.

It took exactly 28 seconds to Google “baseball revenue since 2016” and to click on statista.com. So easy even a sports journalist could do it.

Here are the sad, sad revenue numbers for struggling baseball teams, in the billions:

2016: 9.03

2017: 9.46

2018: 9.9

2019: 10:37 a.m., a record

2020: 3.66.

Someone please pump money into MLB before it’s too late. Call FEMA or something.

The pandemic caused the disaster of 20, yes. Players mitigated this disaster taking pro-rated pay and agreeing to an expanded playoff in a wacky season. Figures for 2021 are not available. The Reds, like all other private teams, do not share their information. Imagine that.

In the meantime, the players’ payroll is down 4.6% since 2017.

Manfred says that de facto salary cap known as the Competitive Balance Tax is the only mechanism the game has to level the proverbial playing field. It’s even debatable. NY Times:

Over the past twelve seasons, Missouri teams have combined to win more World Series (2) than the Los Angeles Dodgers and Yankees (1). Meanwhile, the Yankees and Dodgers have combined to spend over $2 billion on the St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Royals.

Money doesn’t buy brains.

Or ingenuity, vision and creativity. Or a plan that doesn’t change every year.

And we didn’t even discuss back-end mega-millions owners gain when they decide to sell. Sorry, Manfred, owning a baseball team is a much better investment than picking stocks. Manfred and the owners he works for must think you’re really stupid.

Assuming your loyalty is a dangerous game. Eventually, we’ll see how it goes.

Now. . .

WONDER OF THE DAY. . . How a D-1 College Basketball Team Works 5 for 16 from the free throw line?

“NEWS” FROM THE COMBINE. . . Apparently the Bengals need offensive linemen. First I heard about it.

The only interesting thing about this, since everyone outside of a cave in Borneo knows the situation in O-line, is how all-in the men will go. Never has a need been more evident, never has a team been more ready to win everything if that need is met.

If we want a litmus test on the “New Dey” Bengals. . .

Are you scratching with new linemen barely better than the current team? It’s too much of the traditional Bengals mindset and would signal some satisfaction that 2022 will be better than 2021, just because.

Attempting to hit homers in the draft and free agency? My, how times have changed.

MEN WILL TACKLE BATES, if nothing else, even though they never made security a high priority. The most interesting moment related to Jessie came when Zac Taylor said this:

“He means so much,” Taylor said. “He was drafted here before we arrived, by Duke and his team and Marvin (Lewis).”

This is the first time in three years I’ve heard Taylor say Lewis’s name.. All previous allusions were to the so-called failure of the “culture” of the previous regime. Never any mention of the substantial (and IMO undervalued) good that Lewis has done in 16 years here.

It’s a very big one and so on, I know. But the Combine too.

QUESTION FOR THE GROUP. . . Has anyone used Turo.com? It’s a bit like the Airbnb of car rentals. You rent someone’s personal vehicle, for a greatly reduced rate. I just booked one near the Tampa airport for the last week of March for about half of what I would have paid at the rental counter.

My son did this a month ago and he is thrilled.

I don’t need a great rental car to enjoy the hot weather, just a car that doesn’t break down. This is a 2019 Nissan Sentra. The only downside is that we will have to Uber six miles from TPA to the location of the car, which seems a little inconvenient when Mr. John W. Thinwallet can save $300 for a week of car use. It’s amazing what car rental companies are charging now.

So. . . thoughts?

TUNE O’ THE DAY. . . I got some nice traction yesterday from the Tommy-v-Quadrophenia debate. (Quadrophenia in a 2nd-round knockout.) So let’s do it again.

Best Beatles Album: Sgt. Pepper? Or Abbey Road? Or maybe you prefer another.

I say Abbey Road wins in a rout. I understand Pepper’s avant-garde, but the music isn’t as good. And side 2 of Abbey Road might be the smoothest 20 minutes of rock ever.

Here is the perfect finish.

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