MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred Says Economic System ‘Is Not Broken’ – Boston Herald


Fortunately, the Internet has not yet been invented because if it had been, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred might have some explanations for his return home to his wife, Colleen, mother of the couple’s four children.

The household name at the Boston College CEO’s Luncheon at the Boston Harbor Hotel yesterday, Manfred answered questions posed by Red Sox President Sam Kennedy for 40 minutes.

Kennedy brought up the subject of work in baseball, and Manfred tried to define the relationship between owners and players in terms anyone could understand.

“You are stuck,” Manfred said. “It’s like being married. You are there for better or for worse, and you have to find a way to get along.

Oh man. He didn’t mean to say he felt stuck. Oh whatever. He can explain how to get out of it. He doesn’t need my help.

Either way, he continued, “So in our current situation, I think the players are frustrated with some of the developments that they have seen as part of this deal.”

The frustration began to dissipate when free agents Manny Machado (10, $ 300 million, Padres) and Bryce Harper (13, $ 330 million, Phillies) finally signed. Former Red Sox closest Craig Kimbrel and former Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel remain in the market.

“I think of these developments that way,” the commissioner said of the delayed spending for free agents. “We spend the same percentage of our income on gamers that we’ve spent for a decade and a half, so their money is the same. You know, in case you missed it, we spent $ 630 million on two players last week. … The players always get those mega contracts, but the frustration is with the people entering the free agent market who maybe aren’t these best guys and what they get and what they aren’t.

It looks a bit like a declining middle class.

He went on to say that a company that generates almost $ 10 million in revenue per year has an EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of $ 300 million in a “good year for us.” “.

It’s when they sell the franchises that they kill him.

“I tried to make this point (about basically running a balanced business with owners reinvesting in the product) to the players and explaining to them, ‘You have a distribution problem. You might think some guys are getting too much, others too little, and you would like to create more opportunities. It’s up to you to explain to us what you’re looking for in terms of how those dollars are allocated. I would love to have this conversation and have it now, but you need to identify for us what you think is the problem.

What no one explains to anyone, perhaps because neither the commissioner, nor the owners, nor the players quite understood it, is the real problem: a growing number of general managers have identified the best path. towards job security is to convince the property to store leads and refrain from spending for five years and then go on strike. It saves GMs time as they amass their life changing money and extend jobs that could have lasted from three or four years to seven or eight years, even more if the reconstruction project actually works.

The base deal expires after the 2021 season, when owners and players will bicker and “build from within” GMs will laugh all the way to the bank. Fewer club auctions mean longer waits for free agents.

“I absolutely don’t think the system is down,” Manfred told reporters after he and Kennedy finished their question-and-answer session. “I think free agency has worked in a way we’ve seen it work historically. … There are a small number of players looking for jobs, but I suspect that, like last year, this market will eventually clear up.


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