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Articles Tagged Rob Manfred 

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February 28, 2017 6:00 am

Rubbing Mud: Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss


Matthew Trueblood

Rob Manfred, like Bud Selig before him, is blaming the players for a problem MLB owners created.

Everything old is new again. Spring training games (real, live, quasi-competitive baseball games) are being played. Ulnar collateral ligaments are tearing. People are gushing over famous players with eye-popping new physiques, gleefully ignoring the fact that lacking muscle was never the thing holding those players back from transcendence. Most reliably, though, rules changes are being implemented (and, just as often, floated as an empty threat), story-starved columnists are gorging themselves on access to Rob Manfred, and the commissioner is using his platform to lay the groundwork for another thrashing of the MLB Players Association in a CBA negotiation years from now.

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Keeping the baby, throwing out (with maximum speed and efficiency) the bathwater.

One of the virtues of baseball is its harmlessness. Particularly in the summer, when teams have grown comfortable into their rosters, when seasons aren’t yet won or lost, the game relaxes. Unlike football, with its constant climax and its unending, wearying significance, even the greatest accomplishments and worst mistakes of a baseball player can only do so much; another game waits tomorrow. Summer baseball does not enervate, it does not demand. It’s an old person’s game, not because there is a certain demographic who grew up once loving baseball and will die off, as is often assumed, but because its pace matches the preference of a certain mindset. That demographic, however, still terrifies the men charged with profiting off it.

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August 25, 2015 6:00 am

Cold Takes: Taking the Hit Out of the Hit By Pitch


Patrick Dubuque

Analyzing where pitches that hit batters end up, and whether we should change the system.

The batter read the spin of the pitch: slider. It came straight at him, but he knew it was a ruse, that the pitch was going to break back toward the plate, bite the back corner, and strike him out. He held firm. It was a breaking pitch, 86 miles per hour, but it seemed to take forever. The batter started a check swing he hoped he wouldn’t need. But the pitch didn’t break, and clipped the elbow he’d dropped to start his motion.

Max Scherzer was already walking away, his head up in disgust. Jose Tabata turned away from the pitch by instinct, and found himself facing the umpire, Mike Muchlinski, already out of his crouch, his arms extended to signal the dead ball. There was a single beat, and Scherzer forced himself to look back: Would he somehow make the call, the call that is never made? But then the moment passed, and Muchlinski pointed to first. The perfect game was over.

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March 27, 2015 6:00 am

Skewed Left: History Repeats Itself


Zachary Levine

An offseason filled with sugestions of change following another year of stifled offense brings about a familiar feeling.

What’s troubling baseball, though, is a fear: People may admire good pitching, but how long will they pay to see it?Joseph Durso, The New York Times, May 1968

Managers have come up with new strategic concepts. The main difference is that they now platoon their pitchers... Fresh pitchers keep streaming in. Once upon a time a hitter could adjust to a pitcher after he’d come to bat a couple of times and the pitcher was beginning to tire. Now they get no chance to tire and the hitter has no opportunity to adjust. The game has become one-sided. –Former Yankees All-Star shortstop Tony Kubek, July 1968

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What the staff would do if we spent a little time in Rob Manfred's shoes.

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Running through the notable quotes from the week that was.


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Ben and Sam talk to Andy McCullough about the latest legal developments in the Alex Rodriguez saga, the A-Rod episode of 60 Minutes, and more.

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