Inner monologue of MLB Commissioner, Rob Manfred:
“Hmmm…before I flip another pop tart into the toaster oven, what should I do that’d be ‘work related’?
Lemme see: We just had one of the best All-Star games ever. MLB revenues are through the roof. The players are not only better than they’ve ever been, they’re exciting as hell to watch. Four big market, face of baseball type franchises are ready for the post season and World Series runs. Can you imagine what any combination of NY or Boston vs. the Cubs or Dodgers in the World Series will do for us?!? Still, some people are concerned about pace of play, and lack of balls in play, so what should I do, what should I do…? Hmmm…(twirls imaginary mustache…)
There’s a guy playing CF for a secondary team in a west coast market. He is not only the best player in the game, he’s probably the best who’s ever played and he’s in his prime. This guy is so frigging’ talented, people forget that he hustles and plays as hard as anyone in the game. And heck, even the non-baseball things that the “heart and soul” simpletons love are off the charts: He’s universally respected among players, fans, management, and the media. Nobody has a bad word to say about him.
Poor guy’s got problems, though: He plays for Arte Moreno who changes the team’s name every year and also gave $348 million to Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols. The manager of the team also thinks he’s John McGraw…in the bad way.
So what I’ll do is issue a public statement saying this guy isn’t exerting enough “effort” to make himself and the game more popular. Yep, that’ll do it. Put the onus on him – he isn’t doing enough good for the game. And heck, he’s got to grab the reins, I’m busy with my own issues. I can’t be straddled with this conundrum.
I mean really: Those blue collar, hard-working, young talented white kids from New Jersey are really hard to promote. What do they expect out of me for my $11 million annual salary? Seriously, 10 times what Aaron Judge and Francisco Lindor combined get is some BS. I gotta get Boras on the phone.
OK, that will be the ‘how do I shit on my own product’ agenda for the day. Back to making sure that teams that suck can get paid by teams who are good, under the guise of ‘competitive balance’.”