Pic: Lynne Sladky/AP
Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has been under fire for a few years now for some, let's just say, questionable decisions regarding the future of the sport and how he has handled various aspects of the game. From the alleged "juiced balls" and his waffling about whether the sport's baseballs have or have not changed, to his insistence on implementing wonky new rules because of his obsession with pace of play, to trying to get rid of 40 minor league ballclubs, Manfred has managed to focus on "fixing" most of the things in the sport that actual fans think are not broken. (How about we fix those blackouts and make content more available? Or maybe market the games best players the way they deserve, hmmmmm?)
This extremely likeable guy is the sport's best player, and yet...
Now, we have the Houston Astros cheating scandal that Manfred has, in many people's opinions (LIKE ME), badly mishandled, with new information coming out that he in fact got formal complaints about the team's malfeasance and failed to act until Oakland A's pitcher Mike Fiers blew the whistle in the media.
Manfred also gave an extremely awkward press conference on Sunday addressing the scandal that was full of more odd deflection about his handling of the Astros, including such gems as referring to the Commissioner's Trophy as a "piece of metal" when justifying not stripping the team of their title. Do a search on it for more quotes if you want to be extra depressed.
All of this begs the question: why is Rob Manfred so bad at his job? Why does he seemingly hate baseball so much that he actively tries to turn people off of it? To answer the second question, I give you the following...
Top Ten Reasons Why Rob Manfred Hates Baseball
10. Baseball gave Rob a wedgie in the 4th grade and stole his lunch money, and he still cowers in fear every time he smells freshly cut ballpark grass.
9. Rob knows that baseball is much more handsome than he will ever be, so he's trying to make it as unappealing as possible so he can have all the hot women for himself.
8. Baseball made fun of Rob's gaptooth right after he got the Commissioner gig and he vowed to get his revenge, one bad rule at a time.
7. Rob got hit in the head with a baseball at a minor league ballpark when he was in college and it knocked every bit of sense right out of him.
6. Rob thought he was getting the gig as a commissioner of a fantasy baseball league, and is honestly still trying to figure this real baseball thing out.
5. Bud Selig told Rob to just keep throwing ideas at the wall to see what sticks, and hey--if guys cheat, people actually like the sport better!
How'd this get here?
4. Rob doesn't want anyone to find out that baseball is actually just fine the way it is, because he thinks it'll make him expendable. He's currently looking into having live farm animals act as obstacles around the basepaths.
3. Baseball graduated Harvard with a higher GPA than Rob. It did this with help from Kyle Hendricks, which is why Rob hates soft-tossing pitchers so much.
2. Rob is extremely jealous of the NBA and can't let himself be one-upped by that alien Adam Silver.
1. Rob is afraid everyone will love Javy Baez more than they love him. This is the one concern that is probably valid.