Skip to main content

Rob Manfred Is Now The Face of Baseball

Rob Manfred and MLB have canceled games due to the lockout. Now a sport with so many athletes to champion instead has one man to blame.

If you watch MLB Network or follow any of the league’s talking points, you’d think they were the most magnanimous group of billionaires in the world. In reality, MLB can afford to sit back in the cut and smile as they watch millionaire baseball players lose money as millions of fans lose baseball games.

On Tuesday morning, many were hopeful that the league and the player’s union would strike a deal that would lead to a new CBA and a saved season.

We now know that MLBPA rejected the ownership’s latest offer, which means MLB’s arbitrary deadline of Tuesday at 5 p.m. has been reached and games will be missed.

Front and center is commissioner Rob Manfred, wearing the biggest smile amid one of the more dour moments for the sport in recent memory.

Tuesday marked the nadir of a lockout initiated by the league way back on Dec. 2.

After weeks of allegedly bad-faith negotiations and the generally wide chasm of demands from both sides, we know now that no amount of extra weeks was going to salvage this disaster.

It’s official, the first two series of the season are canceled. The players' contingent has gone home and fans are, well, they’ll find other things to do.

“My deepest hope is we get an agreement quickly," Manfred said, via ESPN. "I'm really disappointed we didn't make an agreement.

For their part, the players pointed to negotiations they hope will foster a CBA more representative of the interests of the athletes who actually play the game.

"Rob Manfred and MLB's owners have canceled the start of the season. Players and fans around the world who love baseball are disgusted, but sadly not surprised," MLBPA said in a statement via ESPN.

"From the beginning of these negotiations, Players' objectives have been consistent -- to promote competition, provide fair compensation for young Players, and to uphold the integrity of our market system. Against the backdrop of growing revenues and record profits, we are seeking nothing more than a fair agreement.

The commissioner’s office released a statement that insists upon a tone shift from the players. Its statement reads in part, via The Athletic:

"We thought that there was a path to a deal last night and that both sides were closing on in on the major issues,” an official said. “They couldn’t make us a CBT proposal last night so we agreed to extend the deadline to exhaust every option. The MLBPA has a decidedly different tone today and made proposals inconsistent with the prior discussions. We will be making our best offer before the 5 p.m. deadline for the MLBPA that’s a fair deal for players and clubs.”

Alex Wood had his thoughts on the matter.

Prior to Tuesday’s deadline, Jeff Passan explained things beautifully.

Let’s be clear, this sport has had a lot going for it. Working its way into the younger generation’s hearts or, at the very least, their streaming devices was growing by the season.

Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout, Fernando Tatis Jr., dynamic players and personalities that sell jerseys and infuse the summer with so much entertainment has been shrouded by the will of billionaire owners who would rather suffocate the sport and its potential than embrace its fans.

Now the best this sport has to offer is in the shadows. Standing in the spotlight in all his ignominy is none other than Rob Manfred.