By Kyle Bennett
It’s been a thought of the baseball fandom since Rob Manfred called the World Series trophy a “hunk of metal” that he truly could not care less about the sport he oversees as the Commissioner. Well, it has become clear as day since December 1, 2021 that Manfred absolutely hates the sport that he is in charge of. Three months later, a lockout still happening, Manfred stated he was willing to cancel games and now the first two series of the 2022 MLB season have been axed. Baseball has set itself back, in terms of popularity, so far in the rearview mirror of fans due to the direction of Rob Manfred and the owners’ inability to fairly compensate players during this lockout.
This lockout has been the first time in sports history that the public has had so many opportunities to view the direct paths of action taking place between the players and owners. The overexposure to behind-the-scenes discussions on social media has given fans the insight that we have clamored for when it comes to CBA discussions. We as fans have finally been given the information and wherewithal that this issue is due to the owners’ failures, rather than the stinginess of players.
The superstar talent in the sport has never been better and we are simply throwing away valuable prime years of guys like Mike Trout, Vlad Guerrero, Jr., Shohei Ohtani, Bryce Harper, Mookie Betts, Fernando Tatis, Jr., Manny Machado, and more. And that's just scratching the surface on the offensive side of the diamond.
When you have the reigning NL MVP, Bryce Harper, “jokingly” posting a photo of himself in a Yomiuri Giants jersey saying he’s going to have a lot of free time on his hands, baseball has a PROBLEM. Players changing their social media profile pictures to the default player icon that depicts them on MLB.com should have been seen as a PROBLEM to Major League Baseball, Manfred, and the owners.
Noah Syndergaard put the whole situation under the simplest of terms with one tweet. If the owners’ and Manfred’s paychecks were being messed with, the entire lockout/CBA issue would be solved instantly. But because it’s the players being slighted and the pompous attitudes of MLB, we find ourselves in the situation we are in.
Baseball wants to be in the legion of fandom with the NFL and NBA, but it will never reach that mountain top if Manfred and the owners don’t stop shooting the sport in the foot and killing it day by day.
So until the lockout ends, we'll be stuck watching highlight compilations of the sport we long for every spring/summer that will only continue to drive more and more people away due to the incompetent "leadership."