MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred is certainly not a fan favorite at the moment.
Working as the representative for the owners, Manfred’s image in the minds and eyes of fans is that of the devil’s advocate.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reminded us all that pitchers and catchers were supposed to report to their respective camps today.
That’s obviously not going to happen because the league and the Players Association are far from getting the collective bargaining agreement done.
That is, in large part, because of Manfred and the owners.
Not only did they impose the lockout on players in early December, but since then, they have failed to negotiate in good faith ever since.
I hate you Rob Manfred https://t.co/uyfgCD6pst
— Big J (@jlarson_11) February 15, 2022
Not only that, but they also lost more than a month of negotiations: there was no activity whatsoever in December and in the first week of January.
Owners Blame Players, But They Are Behind The Stalled Negotiations
When asked about this in media appearance last week, he said that “phones work both ways”, a clear reference to players.
He implied that they could have initiated contact, too.
The reality, however, indicates that the owners are the ones who don’t want to offer a fair deal to the union.
And players, while most of them are staying in shape and getting ready for when they finally take the field, are certainly willing to make some sacrifices with the intention of securing a fair deal.
They want better compensation for rookies and players up until three years of service time (arbitration comes after that), they want a higher competitive balance tax (also known as the luxury tax) and softer penalties if teams exceed it, and they want all teams to be competitive and respect the spirit of the game.
Apparently, that’s too much to ask for Manfred and his friends.
Fans know this, and they have made Manfred the number one public enemy.