MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred was elected by the owners, so if you think about it, it may be natural for him to side with them.
However, when baseball’s health is in jeopardy (like it has been for months), he should have the sport’s best interest in mind.
It’s in his best interest to cultivate and maintain a good, respectful relationship with the Players Association, and that includes negotiating in good faith.
He conceded that during his Thursday’s speech after the new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) was announced.
He said the following, per The Athletic’s Evan Drellich: “One of the things I’m supposed to do is promote a good relationship with our players. I’ve tried to do that. I think that I have not been successful in that. I think that it begins with small steps. It’s why I picked the phone up after the ratification and expressed my desire to work with him. It’s going to be a priority of mine moving forward.”
Rob Manfred: "I think that it begins with small steps. It’s why I picked the phone up after the ratification and expressed my desire to work with him. It’s going to be a priority of mine moving forward."
— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) March 10, 2022
He did call union leader Tony Clark, as the latter confirmed it on Friday morning.
He Needs To Back His Words With Facts
He hasn’t always been transparent, but he is right in this particular statement.
He does need to cultivate a good relationship with players, but the best thing for baseball would be if he backed up those words with the way he acts and handles himself.
And, as he says, he hasn’t been successful in building a strong relationship.
Nobody needs owners and players to be friends, just to respect each other and always negotiate in good faith for the sake of the game and the league.
That’s all fans want: a Commissioner who shows he cares about baseball and not just about pleasing the 30 owners.