My Letter to Rob Manfred: One Man’s Plea

Dear Rob, I know that you have been very busy over the past couple of week, so I hope you can find some time to read this. I am just an average baseball fan, with no real motivation to write you other than the fact that I miss the game and only want you to do the best job you can to help it grow in the future. So far I believe you are failing miserably. I understand that you have 30 different bosses to please, which could be difficult. I only have one boss and she drives me nuts at times, but she always acts with the best of intentions so I usually cut her a lot of slack. Your 30 bosses have one goal in mind and unfortunately it is not a World Series Trophy. That is just a bonus. Money is the root of all evil and all of your owners have an abundance of it. If that is what is being focused on, the game as we know it is finished. Some may say that it has already been ruined by greed and ruthless actions or plans on the part of owners and Major League Baseball operations as a whole.

It is shame that when the entire world is experiencing a pandemic the main focus has been on protecting the owners investments and the players who have already established themselves; the ones who have already been paid and aren’t in danger of any negative consequences or repercussions. This what is really important, right? Let’s make sure Mookie Betts has the opportunity to get his big contract. Guess what? It was coming regardless. This should not be a major concern or point of compromise. If it is, they are missing the mark. The big names will always get there just dues. They aren’t they ones that should be worried about, but for some reason they are treated with kid gloves. They are grown men. I think they can handle it.

Now let’s talk about the $170 million that has been promised. This sir is a joke. Not because you shouldn’t pay them, but because you are acting like it is some great sacrifice. I understand this is a different across all teams, but it might be easier to look at it for the entire league as an average. So you asked the MLB owners to pay $170 million across 30 teams? That is an average of $5.7 million per team, so please don’t act like this is breaking the bank for anyone. We all know it is not. It’s the same for the $400 a week that is being given to MiLB players. Don’t act like you don’t have the money and don’t cut players because you would have if was a regular season. Guess what? It’s not, if you haven’t already recognized that. Why are you releasing anyone? Baseball is not happening right now in any shape or form, so why is anyone acting like it is? Suspend everything Rob. Suspend everything “Tony the Tiger”. You signed these guys to play baseball and they can’t right now. It’s not their fault, They are still your employees, even if they have not paid any money into your precious union. This causes me to question the MLPA as well and it’s not like this is the first time; with their history of protecting cheaters over the ones that chose to play the game with integrity.

Now onto your master plan to rip baseball from communities, 42 to be exact. You say that this is necessary to upgrade all of the minor league facilities and to put the well-being of the players first in terms of travel and living conditions. If this was the case then why are Erie and Binghamton on the list? Both the Seawolves and Rumble Ponies’ owners have acquired the funds to upgrade their stadiums and ultimately brought their plans to fruition. The Rumble Ponies’ home ballpark was set to host the Eastern League All-Star game this year. Why would an event of this caliber be held at a place that is on the chopping block? It’s because they shouldn’t be. All-Star Games are held at the nicest, newest and most financially profitable stadiums or ballparks at each and every level, from top to bottom and the choice of NYSEG Stadium is not an exception to this rule. However, under your plan Rob, this community would be left with a team. Now if the proposal is truly about the players well-being, which I know it’s not, then good for you and I am willing to let you use a couple of my ideas; you can even take the credit, I am a humble man just like you. Reorganize the leagues so that travel is not as much of an issue. I know that this means that some of the teams would have to sacrifice their AAA or AA affiliation in favor of being in a “lesser” league, but I see that as a lot better than the alternative. Another idea is to not allow teams like the Mets to make a $57 million upgrade to their facilities at Port St. Lucie if they are not going to allow the minor league players to utilize them. Or better yet, put that $57 million dollars to work in assisting their minor league affiliates upgrade their facilities and help with travel accommodations. Neither of these are radical ideas or suggestions.

I could keep going on for much longer than I have because there are plenty more examples of your shortcomings as an ambassador for the great game of baseball, but I think I have made my point pretty sufficiently. It’s plain and simple Rob. You can’t grow a game if kids can’t go to their local ballpark, teams can be made to use their funds more efficiently and the agreements that you have come to with the MLBPA are selfish; not just on your part, but on their’s as well. You are not alone in addressing situations in the worst way possible. However, you can make a change. It’s not too late. Baseball is in your hands. Please don’t screw it up anymore.

Sincerely, Craig W. Toth (aka Bucs in the Basement)

Published by Craig W. Toth

Former Contributing Author at InsidethePirates.com, Co-Host of the Bucs in the Basement Podcast and life-long/diehard Pittsburgh Pirates Fan!

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