Results tagged ‘ Rob Manfred ’

Baltimore Orioles: Season won’t start April 9th (updated)

The Baltimore Orioles and the rest of MLB remain in a holding pattern as the nation and the world battles the Coronavirus. However USA Today’s Bob Nightengale is reporting that commissioner Rob Manfred has said that the season won’t begin by April 9th. So again, we remain in a holding pattern.

Nightengale (who’s article I linked above) also said that the league is looking at various options that still include playing a 162-game schedule. It’s unclear what those options are, however I have to assume that most of them would involve playing well past when the league’s been comfortable playing in the past. Meaning presumably into November.

Again, the situation is fluid. What’s also unclear is the status of the crowds at games. Whether or not fans would be allowed come whenever they start the season remains to be seen. It’s unfortunate that we find ourselves in this situation. But here we are.

Update: The league announced that the start of the season has been pushed back to at least mid-May:

It’s tough to imagine an April and early May without baseball. But we’re about to find out what that’s going to be like. And it’s still unclear whether or not fans would even be allowed at games come that point.

Baltimore Orioles’ pitchers and catchers report amidst potential playoff changes

Today Baltimore Orioles’ fans can utter one of the most beautiful phrases in the English language: pitchers and catchers report! Many of them, along with many position players, are probably already in Sarasota working out. But today’s the drop dead report date. It all begins today.

I’ve said this before, but all this week pitchers and catchers will work out at the Ed Smith Stadium complex. Early next week position players will have to have reported, and Grapefruit League play begins next Saturday, February 22nd. The Orioles will open the home portion of the schedule on Sunday, February 23rd in Sarasota against Boston.

One thing to watch between now and then is who gets the start, specifically in that home opener. It’s understood that the “road opener” might have a different roster set for the game, however who starts that home game might give us some insight as to who’s looking to burst into the rotation. Or where someone stands in the rotation. Regardless, I’d only look for the starter to go two innings or so. Nothing major.

Pitchers and catchers report however after a report that came from the NY Post yesterday saying that commissioner Rob Manfred is considering the concept of changing the postseason structure. Before I go into the proposed changes, I want to mention that I like the way it is now. I liked the addition of the second wild card team, because I felt that the wild card games put more onus on winning the divisions. And over the years those wild card games were usually very compelling. 2019 was no exception.

However the new alleged proposal would scrap the wild card games, and expand the playoffs to seven teams in each league. The top seed would get a bye, and the divisional series’ would be a best-of-three (at the same ballpark). Here’s the kicker: the highest possible seed would get to pick their opponent.

Let me state for the record, I’m against this. It’s unfathomable to me that a team should get to choose which opponent they’ll get to play. This isn’t a schoolyard kickball game whereby captains pick teams. I think this would be a big mistake.

Baseball’s a game that always has been and should always be about tradition. You don’t get to pick your opponent – that’s ludicrous. And expanding the playoffs? This shouldn’t be the NBA or the NHL where half the league gets into the post season. That’s just not how baseball’s supposed to work. But I’d gladly let more teams in it meant avoiding teams picking their opponents.

This is an obvious attempt by the league to spice up the post season and make things more interesting for casual fans. And as a purist, I resent that. You don’t spit at your base customers just to draw in casual customers. We’ll see where this goes, but hopefully it’s nowhere.

Baltimore Orioles: MLB Handled the Houston scandal properly

Baltimore Orioles’ fans and fans of other teams across the league are increasingly more angry at MLB commissioner Rob Manfred regarding the Houston Astros’ cheating scandale. Many people are saying that the players should be punished for their transgressions. They’re right about that – but so is the commissioner in terms of how this was handled.

The players should absolutely face discipline. However while this hasn’t been confirmed, it’s presumed that all 69 players that were interviewed were granted immunity by Commissioner Manfred. Again this is assumed, however if immunity was granted one would be led to believe that it was done in writing.

So given the outrage that exists, if Commissioner Manfred went back on his word and issued discipline to players, he would be putting the league at legal risk. And it would be an open-and-shut case. So then people demand to know why immunity was granted in the first place. The answer is fairly easy…

…the league would have never cracked the case the way that it did had there been no testimony from players. And the only way the commissioner could get the players to talk was through a promise of immunity. It’s all very much a Catch-22 in a sense.

But there’s another reason that giving immunity to the players was the right thing to do. Commissioner Manfred undoubtedly saw how things spiraled out of control during the NFL’s Bountygate scandal. Suspending the coaches and executives involved isn’t privy to an appeal. When NFL players were suspended for their roles in that scandal, the union got involved and it turned into a mess.

So the immunity situation aside, Manfred didn’t want to be in a situation where he was suspending multiple players and having the MLBPA get involved in appeals among other things. They want this to go away, as well they should.

Again, Commissioner Manfred would be putting the league at legal risk if he disciplined the players at this point. Now the is an exception to this. If new evidence were to come out, or if a player or players were found to have lied, one could then argue the immunity was null and void. However as it stands now, this is just something with which fans will have to deal and accept.

Baltimore Orioles: Did MLB crackdown on cheating for more than one reason?

Commissioner Rob Manfred put the Baltimore Orioles and the rest of MLB on notice with his penalties to the Houston Astros this week regarding sign stealing and cheating. It’s not going to be tolerated. For the record, I agree with that, and I agree with the penalties to Houston (and eventually Boston).

However I also suspect that these penalties are being dished out for more reasons thank just the integrity of the game, per se. Professional sports, including Major League Baseball, are getting cozier and cozier with the gambling industry. I won’t get into the hypocrisy of this regarding baseball, but I’ll simply state that the fact is the league’s accepting gambling more and more.

PointsBet Sportsbook announced yesterday that any bets involving the New York Yankees, the Houston Astros, and/or the World Series in 2017 will be issued a full refund. Now while the Yankees’ sense of entitlement with 26 rings in their arsenal already does come across as smug, the fact is that anyone who placed a bet does have a legitimate gripe.

Sportsbooks are going to eventually be partners to various leagues. Heck, there are rumors that part of the new entertainment center at Nationals Park in Washington is going to be a Sportsbook. Can you imagine that? Gambling IN a big league park?

However if that’s going to become a thing, it behooves MLB to ensure that the games are fair more and more. And I suppose there’s some irony in that. Gambling helping to clean up the game. Imagine that.

Baltimore Orioles, MLB could be playing under different rules

If commissioner Rob Manfred gets his way, the rules under which the Baltimore Orioles and the rest of MLB play might soon be vastly different. And in saying that, I mean…there are rules that get tweaked (which happens every year), and then there’s what Manfred wants to do. Make no mistake, if he gets his way the game will never be the same.

As originally reported by The Athletic, Manfred and the player’s union are discussing the following changes: Universal Designated Hitter (eliminating the need for pitchers to hit in the National League), three-batter minimum for all pitchers, 20-second pitch clock, trade deadline prior to the all-star game, expansion of rosters to 26 men, and a provision for two-sport players to sign major league deals Let that sink in for a moment.

Not all of these ideas are bad in my view. I’m indifferent to the trade deadline concept and two-sport players being able to sign big league deals. However I think allowing 26 men on the roster is a good idea. It doesn’t change things a heck of a lot, but it allows teams some additional support.

I’ve been very clear on the DH over time – for those who have read me over the years. I think that the rules on both leagues should in fact be uniform. And thus I think the DH should go away entirely. I’ve never liked it. Certainly the player’s union is going to be in favor of it because more high-salaries DH jobs will open up and help extend guys’ careers. But it gets us further and further away from what the game always has been and should be.

Manfred has wanted a pitch clock for some time. Now what would focus on the pace of play would be forcing teams to leave relievers in for at least three hitters. But again, I’m not a fan of that. Managers matching up in later innings is part of the game. It always has been, and it always will be. Are we really considering removing that from the sport?

End of the day, baseball evolves just like everything else. I just hope it doesn’t happen too quickly. Again, pitchers are a part of that day.’a lineup. Why shouldn’t they hit also? So to Rob Manfred and the rest of the league, I would simply say to be careful.

Baltimore Orioles: Commissioner Rob Manfred extended

Baltimore Orioles’ ownership representatives John and Lou Angelos spent the week at the owners’ meetings. Obviously the big story is that they appear to have hired a new GM in Mike Elias. However the owners also voted to extend commissioner Rob Manfred for an additional five years in his current role.

This is noteworthy for the future of the game. And it’s something to which Orioles fans should pay attention perhaps more so than Elias’ hire. I can’t tell you that I’m against everything for which commissioner Manfred stands, because that’s inaccurate. But I do have serious questions regarding the direction of the game.

Preliminary indications seem to be that Manfred isn’t against radicle change in baseball. And there are a lot of radicle ideas out there, such as seven inning games, and starting extra innings with a runner in scoring position. The idea of ties has also been floated.

People seem to be very caught up in the pace-of-play, and Commissioner Manfred seems to get that. Speaking for myself, I might not be against implementing a pitch clock. At least more so than I would be seven inning games.

I suppose my point is that baseball is timeless. Sure it changes here and there – there are rule changes every year in every sport. But that doesn’t mean that changing part of the fabric of the game (such as nine innings) would be acceptable.

None of this is to say that any of that will happen. It’s just chatter. However it’ll be interesting to see what if anything Manfred decides to do with his newfound tenure.

Baltimore Orioles: Commissioner Rob Manfred extended

Baltimore Orioles’ ownership representatives John and Lou Angelos spent the week at the owners’ meetings. Obviously the big story is that they appear to have hired a new GM in Mike Elias. However the owners also voted to extend commissioner Rob Manfred for an additional five years in his current role.

This is noteworthy for the future of the game. And it’s something to which Orioles fans should pay attention perhaps more so than Elias’ hire. I can’t tell you that I’m against everything for which commissioner Manfred stands, because that’s inaccurate. But I do have serious questions regarding the direction of the game.

Preliminary indications seem to be that Manfred isn’t against radicle change in baseball. And there are a lot of radicle ideas out there, such as seven inning games, and starting extra innings with a runner in scoring position. The idea of ties has also been floated.

People seem to be very caught up in the pace-of-play, and Commissioner Manfred seems to get that. Speaking for myself, I might not be against implementing a pitch clock. At least more so than I would be seven inning games.

I suppose my point is that baseball is timeless. Sure it changes here and there – there are rule changes every year in every sport. But that doesn’t mean that changing part of the fabric of the game (such as nine innings) would be acceptable.

None of this is to say that any of that will happen. It’s just chatter. However it’ll be interesting to see what if anything Manfred decides to do with his newfound tenure.

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