Major League Baseball locked out its players roughly a month and a half ago, and in the time since then both sides have barely so much as sent one another scathing DMs from burner accounts. Hell, I think I’ve had more correspondence with Delbert from Ludlow about why Kyle Farmer deserves a contract extension in those six weeks than Rob Manfred has had with Tony Clark.
That said, yesterday saw MLB present its first ‘real’ labor proposal to the players, and you’ll get the gist from the report filed by ESPN’s Jeff Passan that the players would’ve rather hit their big thumbs with a hammer than consider it in any serious form or fashion. In essence, MLB took every single talking point the MLBPA has emphasized as vital to their stance on the future of the game, sneezed on it, and handed it right back, the kind of bargaining tactic generally leaned on by autocrats and assholes.
Baseball is still a legal monopoly, by the way, but I digress.
With that very recent active inaction, today’s Friday List details what we here at Red Reporter Headquarters believe to really be the list of changes to the game that Rob Manfred would impose upon the players in his perfect, billionaire-bosses-driven world.
32 team playoff
After completing a 162 game regular season, 2 teams will then be created from thin air to participate in a playoff system that will feature all teams being seeded at random.
One player per team gets a salary
Rather than supporting a front office that’s tasked with coming up with strategic plans for who, and why, players get paid, team owners will instead pick one player they really think is cool for whatever reason and just pay them. Then, that player gets to call his buddies, try to talk them into playing with him on the team, and pays them out of his own pocket.
Partner with NCAA to treat Minor League Baseball as college-credit worthy internship
Why pay minor leaguers who pack stadiums across the land and put money in the pockets of those who own the teams when instead you can grant them college credit instead? While the concept of ‘earning money for a job done’ is somewhat of a tenet of how modern society has functioned for thousands of years, this would instead prompt baseball players to go broke and abandon their dreams of being a big leaguer and, instead, get just enough college credit to decide to burden themselves with hundreds of thousands of dollars of student loan debt to get the rest of the credits needed to earn a college degree.
MLB players dance with signs and spin them and flip them streetside to sell season tickets
MLB players would dance with signs and spin them and flip them streetside in all 30 MLB cities (and at the locations of the 2 postseason-only clubs) to sell season (and postseason, in the locations of the 2 postseason-only clubs) tickets.
Lower the league’s minimum salary
Manfred has long pointed out that raises will feel bigger for the players if the dirt they start out making is lower, so this is actually him advocating for bigger raises! Kinda.
Commissioner sets the draft order
Noting the obvious faults with the order of the draft every summer given the preponderance of teams actively tanking and those taking revenue-sharing money and not reinvesting it, a change in the way teams are awarded draft picks is a hot topic - and should be. Rather than instituting a draft lottery, however, or even a modified lottery for the bottom third of clubs, the Commissioner would instead just pick which teams he thought worthy of the best draft picks on his own terms, surely with zero outsized influence put on him by owners who actually want to draft good players and pay them the top allotments of draft pool money.
All Chicago Cubs players must wear flippers on the field of play
While I’m not sure how this particular rule change made it into Manfred’s dream proposal, I must admit that I am firmly all for it.
Service-time manipulation must be eradicated
Instead, it will now be referred to as ‘Service-time Cryogenic Freezing sponsored by VACUACTIVUS,’ and all rookies must now submit to a roughly two-week period of being frozen and reintroduced to society before assuming a spot on a big league roster feeling more refreshed than ever.
Addressing the need for Universal Designated Hitters
Manfred believes pitchers attempting to hit has reached its nexus, and the rules in the National League should more closely mimic those of the American League in addressing this issue. However, in the name of advancement, the NL’s new adopted hit-only spot will be referred to as the ‘Designated Strikouter’ and be listed as ‘DS’ on all lineup cards.
Move baseball schedule to July-December, with the World Series set for early February
Manfred’s new plan for new-season baseball would also feature all teams playing doubleheaders on Sundays when there is probably not anything people would rather be watching to go up against the television draw, as well as Red Sox vs. Yankees set for each and every Monday night with first pitches scheduled on said Mondays for 8:15 PM ET when there also would probably never be anything else on TV that sports fans would rather watch.