Sports commissioners are the head honchos. The biggest decisions run through them, and there who meet with the owners of the respective leagues before and during the season.
Currently, the “Big Four” commissioners are Roger Goodell (NFL), Adam Silver (NBA), Gary Bettman (NHL), and Rob Manfred (MLB).
And sports commissioners also have been at the center of some of the most controversial moments in sports history. In fact, they themselves have become some of the most controversial figures in sports history.
Adding himself on that list is Manfred.
From the time he called the World Series trophy a “piece of metal” to not suspending any of the Astros cheaters, and to having pitchers getting searched while they walk to the dugout like they were at the police station, Manfred has drawn the ire of not only players and managers, but fans nationwide.
But Manfred has shown that his skin isn’t so thick, and doesn’t take too kindly to the criticism.
MLB Network has cut ties with renowned MLB insider Ken Rosenthal in what is believed to be the end result of acrimony that peaked in the summer of 2020 after Rosenthal criticized commissioner Rob Manfred, according to the New York Post.
Honestly, it’s fair criticism.
It’s January of 2022, and winter warm-ups have been cancelled, MLB is still in a lockout, and Manfred is at the center of it, not willing to budge or negotiate.
Not too long ago, a Twitter user named @metsandthememes compiled a full list. In addition to the issues from this year, here are what many deem some of Manfred’s biggest blunders since becoming commissioner:
- The sport has seen significant boosts in home runs and scientific data, including one from The Athletic, proved the balls are juiced. Manfred denied the claims on all occasions.
- Implementing a three-batter minimum for pitchers.
- Intending to cut over 40 minor-league teams.
- Publicly calling out Angels star Mike Trout for “not engaging” with the league to improve his marketability.
- Allowing the Miami Marlins to trade most of their team not long after Derek Jeter assumed ownership in 2017.
- Turned a “blind eye,” as one Twitter user called it, to Mets owner Jeff Wilpon firing a pregnant woman.
Now financially, the league has thrived. Although Manfred has made the league plenty of money, MLB owners need to start wondering how much longer they can rely on Manfred as commissioner, due to his plummeting approval with the general public… and MLB players.