Bud Selig has been out of office for less than 24 hours and his new successor is quickly on his way to taking the mantle of "Baseball's Buffoon" from Bud. In one single missive to the public, new commissioner Rob Manfred's mocking of "purists" and supplication to "short attention spans" has made him the mockworthy target of every pundit in America. The gap in his teeth is paired with a gap in his intelligence. Commissioner Manfred has announced that he would like to ban defensive shifts and add a clock to the game.
In an era where regional blackout rules actually keep the product from large portions of the customer base, attention is paid to things that do not resolve customers actually seeing games. Attention is paid to making sure customers will not be enjoying baseball as they know it. Baseball's head honcho has openly assured the world that he wants baseball's defenders to be disallowed from standing near where they think the ball might be hit and pitchers will not be allowed to throw the ball when they are comfortable. Will hitters have to obey the rule that they must stay in the batter's box? Not addressed.
Baseball has a myriad of rules to speed up the game, few of which are enforced. Our new commissioner is ignoring every one of these rules in his public advocacy of pitching clocks. He would rather introduce a clock to time pitchers into the one major team sport without timekeeping than simply demand umpires enforce the longstanding rule to not allow batters to leave the batter's box.
Manfred immediately strikes the punditry as the kind of third-hand dolt who nods to all received opinion because he has never had an original thought in his pea brain. Here is a direct quote:
"Our society is a very fast-paced society. Attention spans are shorter. I think that it's very important to us at least symbolically to say to fans, we understand that you want this to move as quickly as possible and we're going to continue to modernize the game, without harming its traditions, in a way that makes it more enjoyable and more attune to the society that we live in."
First off, has the game seen its ratings decline in half because of this plague of short attention spans? Is it losing money for a decade now because of people looking away form their screens for a minute? No and No.
Second, Short attention spans are, in fact, the reason people tolerate commercials in between innings and announcers pushing ticket specials between batters. But Manfred the Moron beats the ADHD-Drum - and asks for a fundamental restructuring of the game itself.
And Third - there really is NO evidence that attention spans are "shorter". What if the indicators of this that Manfred sees are actually signs that people are all just "smarter" these days and can concentrate on two things - like sports entertainment options and email - at once?
Stop seventh inning singings of God Bless America to shorten the games? Nope. Stop Interviews with managers in the booth during innings? Nope. Make commercial breaks between innings shorter? Oh hell no. Discipline umpires who call their own strike zones? Not a chance.
Add a clock to the game that has never had one? Sure. How many rattled late-inning pitchers will throw a wild pitch that ELONGATES games, ones which would have been shorter under a human pace? Don't answer it is a rhetorical question, one that Moron Manfred cannot intellectually grasp.
This guy is dumber than Bud Selig. If he is the snake-in-the-grass type who will leap out in order to make the owners all reap more money remains o be seen. But it looks more like he has been a Peter Principle waiting to happen - he went along on the management team, rose to top foot soldier and upon taking over has revealed his level of incompetency and will now stay there.
This is NOT good.