“Never judge a book by its cover.” That’s a dumb adage that has somehow stood the test of time, despite the fact that, in the metaphorical sense, judging a book by its cover is typically a reasonable and valid thing to do. And Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred is proof positive of that.
For a man who looks like a middle-aged version of Alfred E. Neuman of MAD Magazine fame, it’s hard to believe that he’s over one of the most famous and lucrative sports organizations in the world. With a gap-toothed grin and a goofy demeanor, Manfred gives off the vibe of being a certified doofus, which, based on his recent actions, he definitely is.
Manfred has this stupid vision of grandeur that he’s somehow going to rejuvenate baseball fandom in millennials by speeding up the game. It seems like it’s literally the only concern he has involving the league that he runs, as he’s constantly conjuring up dumb ideas in an attempt to somehow speed up gameplay.
From a pitch clock to placing a runner on second to start extra innings, Manfred and his cronies have thrown around several dumb-ass ideas that they evidently feel would have a positive effect on the game of baseball. The problem, though, is that all of those proposed changes would have a minute impact on the speed of the game. It would be like peeing in a lake in terms of time shaved off an average MLB game.
Somehow, one of his proposals has been approved, with both the MLB and the MLB players’ union agreeing to implement a new automatic intentional walk rule, in which the perfunctory four lobs by the pitcher to the catcher in order to place a batter on first base will no longer be needed. Now, teams can simply signal from the dugout that they want to intentionally walk a hitter, and he’ll automatically take first.
MLB has approved a change to the intentional walk rule, going from the traditional 4-pitch walk to a dugout signal. https://t.co/Uj2cMAIN2g
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 22, 2017
Cool move, Rob. Take away a basic tenet of baseball in which a pitcher is required to pitch toward home in order for a runner to attempt to advance to first base. Way to go on that one! Man, that’s really going to cut out a lot of game time from now on, since there are so many intentional walks every game. Gosh, that might cut out an average of, like, two and a half seconds from MLB games this coming season. Wow!
Adding insult to injury, Manfred made himself look even dumber recently by publicly chastising the MLBPA, likely alienating himself from many of the players who give his job meaning in the process. Another winner, Rob! Frustrated that more of his silly-ass time-saving proposals didn’t go through, Manfred blamed it on “a lack of cooperation from the MLBPA.” So instead of simply admitting that his proposals are really stupid and that the only reason the MLBPA likely approved the automatic intentional walk rule was to cut back on pitch counts, Manfred took offense and publicly shamed the lifeblood of Major League Baseball.
Rob Manfred: There will not be substantive rules changes in 2017 due to "lack of cooperation from the MLBPA."
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 21, 2017
For the man who has a stick so far up his ass that he won’t even reinstate Shoeless freakin’ Joe, Manfred sure has no qualms over proposing radical (yet pointless) changes to a game that has existed for a century and a half. The hope when the impotent Bud Selig (who will forever have the cloud of the Steroid Era looming over his head) left office, allowing Manfred to take over, was that the new commissioner would be judicious and concerned with upholding the integrity of the game of baseball.
Unfortunately, Manfred has proved to be a hack who has his heart set on changing the game to make it his own. So, yes, Rob Manfred can be judged by his looks because he’s just as much of a sneaky, conniving, dipshit as his appearance indicates.