1 Man’s Opinion

1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Thursday “MLB Winter Meetings-Commissioner Speaks-I Respond”

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“The Commissioner Talks–I Respond”

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The “State of Baseball Address” from Commissioner Rob Manfred, his plate full of issues, controversies, problems and feuds.

What he said to those of us in the Media.  What I think.

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Commissioner Rob Manfred-“State of League Address”

..Astros investigation-far from complete…will interview 60-people..review 76,000-Emails and Instagram messages…Not ready to talk about potential type of discipline….Most thorough investigation Commissioner’s office has ever done.

,,IF ALL THE INFORMATION LEAKING OUT IS TRUE, THAT A NUMBER OF CLUBS SUSPECTED CHEATING, AND IF THEY PROVED THERE WAS A SYSTEM OF SIGN STEALING, USING ELECTRONICS AND OTHER ILLEGAL MEANS, THEN THE ASTROS SHOULD PAY THE STEEPEST PRICE POSSIBLE FOR DAMAGING THE INTEGRITY OF THE GAME.  IT SHOULD INCLUDE A 1M FINE, A FROZEN SALARY CAP BUDGET, A BAN ON FREE AGENT SIGNINGS, AND STRIPPING OF DRAFT PICKS.  HEADS SHOULD ROLL TOO, FROM GM JEFF LUHNOW TO EVEN MANAGER AJ HINCH, IF THEY WERE IN ON IT.  INTEGRITY OF THE GAME IS UTMOST OF IMPORTANCE.  SEE THE HISTORICAL LESSONS IN SHOELESS JOE JACKSON AND PETE ROSE.

..Minor League Baseball…They publicly attacked a longtime partner…intentionally leaked information before we ever sat down to talk about ideas…There are ways to pay minor league players better without contracting teams.

..MLB IS PART RIGHT-PART WRONG, BUT THEY ARE GOING AT THIS FROM THE WRONG DIRECTION.  THIS IS ALL ABOUT OUT OF CONTROL COST CONTROLS.  THE YANKEES HAD 9-MINOR LEAGUE TEAMS AND NEARLY 300 PLAYERS UNDER CONTRACT LAST YEAR.  THE PADRES HAD 9-TEAMS AND IN EXCESS OF 220 UNDER MINOR LEAGUE CONTRACTS.  BASEBALL NEEDS TO STREAMLINE THE MINOR LEAGUE OPERATIONS, BUT SHUTTING DOWN 42-TEAMS AND FOLDING 4-CLASS A OR ROOKIE LEAGUES IS NOT THE WAY TO DO IT.  SHORTENING THE DRAFT DOES NOT MEAN YOU CANNOT FIND AN ALBERT PUJOLS IN THE 62ND ROUND.  THE MLB SURVEY THAT SHOWED 95% OF PLAYERS WHO ARE IN CLASS A-ROOKIE LEAGUE BALL NEVER GET TO THE MAJOR LEAGUES, MEANS THERE IS ALOT OF WASTE.  THAT MONEY NEEDS TO BE POURED INTO BETTER SALARIES FOR MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS.  SHORTEN THE MINOR LEAGUE SEASONS, YOU DON’T NEED TO PLAY 144-GAMES IN THE PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE FOR EXAMPLE.  FIND A SOLUTION TO THE GEOGRAPHY, THE TRAVEL ISSUES, THE NUTRITION AND STADIUM ISSUES.  LIMIT EACH TEAM TO 4-MINOR LEAGUE TEAMS AND POSSIBLY AN ENLARGED ROOKIE LEAGUE TRAINING CAMP TEAM.  BUT THIS CANNOT BE A MONEY GRAB FOR OWNERS.  THE CASH SAVED MUST BE REINVESTED TO THE PLAYERS IN A-AA-AAA WITH BETTER SALARIES.  YES BLUEFIELD, TRI CITIES, BINGHAMTON MAY HAVE TO GO AWAY.  NEGOTIATE THESE DEALS…DON’T MANDATE THEM.

..Free agency works..Teams have committed 2B in contracts since last December-including Harper-Machado-Strasburg-Cole and more..No need to change the system.

..THE SYSTEM IS CYCLICAL, THIS YEAR A BANNER YEAR OF FREE AGENTS, LAST YEAR A THIN CROP.  WHAT NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED IS THE FREE AGENT WINDOW, AND AGENTS WHO DRAG THE PROCESS OUT.  PUT A DEADLINE ON FREE AGENT SIGNINGS ON THE CALENDAR…DECEMBER 1ST TO JANUARY 15TH.  YOU CAN’T LIMIT CONTRACTS, BUT YOU CAN LIMIT WHEN PLAYERS CAN MOVE.  IT ALLOWS TEAMS A WINDOW POST FREE AGENCY TO EVALUATE MORE TRADES BEFORE CAMPS OPEN….CALL THE UNION AND SIT DOWN AND DISCUSS A ‘FLOOR TO SPENDING’ CONCEPT…THAT EVERY TEAM NEEDS TO SPEND A MINIMUM AMOUNT ON PLAYER SALARIES, ESPECIALLY WITH THE REVENUE SHARING THAT GOES ON….NOT EVERYONE CAN BE A 200M PAYROLL TEAM…BUT NO ONE SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO OPERATE WITH A 50M OR 70M PAYROLL…A FLOOR TO SPENDING ALLOWS MORE MONEY TO MID-LEVEL FREE AGENTS AND IMPROVES THE SMALL MARKET TEAMS.  THE LUXURY TAX WORKS, ESPECIALLY IF THAT MONEY IS POURED BACK INTO SMALL MARKETS.

..MLB-Union in agreement on Opioid testing program

..I AGREE FIRST TIME OFFENDERS GO TO IMMEDIATE REHAB-COUNSELING, AND REPEAT POSITIVE TESTS MEAN SUSPENSIONS…IT SHOULD BE RANDOM TESTING A COUPLE OF TIMES IN SEASON AND ‘CAUSE’ TESTING IF NEED BE.  MUCH LIKE STEROIDS, THEN HGH, THIS IS BASEBALL’S NEW ISSUE.  HATS OFF TO THE UNION FOR WANTING TO HELP PLAYERS.  I AM SURE SOMEWHERE DOWN THE ROAD, DISCUSSION OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA WILL BE PART OF THE CONVERSATION TOO.

..All MLB teams will have protective netting down all baselines.

..PROTECT THE PAYING PUBLIC REGARDLESS OF THE COST.

..MLB Draft moving to Omaha right before College World Series

..A GIMMICK NO DOUBT, BUT IT WILL BE NICE NOT TO HAVE IT A DISTRACTION TO THE COLLEGE WORLD SERIES.  MLB NEEDS TO DEVELOP A PLAN SO THAT THE TOP 100 PLAYERS CAN GO THRU MLB-WIDE PHYSICAL EXAMS PRIOR TO THE DRAFT.  THAT MEDICAL INFORMATION NEEDS TO BE MADE AVAILABLE IF YOU ARE PUTTING SO MUCH MONEY INTO GUARANTEED CONTRACTS WITH THESE HIGH DRAFT PICKS.

..We will invoke new rules for next year
(:20) pitch clock…26 Man Roster…15-Day DL for pitchers..3-Batter minimum for pitchers..28 Man Roster in September.

..PACE OF PLAY STILL SEEMS TO BE AN ISSUE, BUT YOU CANNOT PUT RULES IN THAT IMPACT STRATEGY…THE THREE BATTER RULE SEEMS ABSURD…TRYING TO BAN THE SHIFT SEEMS WRONG…I LIKE THE ROSTER UPGRADES, THE LIMIT TO SEPTEMBER CALLUPS, AND CHANGING THE DL-RULES AGAIN…THE PITCH CLOCK-DON’T THINK THAT’S AS BIG A PROBLEM AS DELAYS FOR 9-PITCHING CHANGES IN GAMES.

..Rawlings Baseball…Study shows some manufacturing variations led to different level of seams on balls-impacting aerodynamics..balls were not juiced.

NOW YOU TELL ME THE BALLS MADE IN COSTA RICA WERE DIFFERENT THAN BALLS MADE IN THE US OR AT SOME OTHER INTERNATIONAL PLANT THAT RAWLINGS-MLB USES….BAD QUALITY CONTROL FOR SURE….IMPACTING THE RECORD BOOK, HELPING HOME RUN HITTERS, HURTING PITCHERS, DOESN’T SEEM TO BE VERY FAIR.  MLB OWNS RAWLINGS NOW, SO FIX IT..

..Oakland A’s…Committed to keep team in new stadium in the market
..Tampa Bay..Rays locked into Tropicana Lease thru 2027.

..WHY CAN’T BASEBALL DO WHAT THE NFL HAS DONE, BECOME BUSINESS PARTNERS WITH THE TEAMS AND ITS COMMUNITIES…CALL THE NFL ON PARK AVENUE AND DETERMINE NOW THE NFL G-3 FUND WORKS TO HELP TEAMS BUILD NEW STADIUMS…DEVELOP A REVENUE SHARE ASPECT THAT HELPS CITIES CO-FUND STADIUMS…..I BELIEVE MONTREAL AND CHARLOTTE AS POTENTIAL MARKETS SHOULD BE EXPLORED.

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