Nationals Arm Race

"… the reason you win or lose is darn near always the same – pitching.” — Earl Weaver

Did the Nationals swing the vote for the new Commissioner?


They did if you believe Murray Chass.  In his incredibly mean-spirited column today, he goes above and beyond to trash White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, details the supposedly-secret voting process that resulted in baseball’s 10th commissioner Rob Manfred, and lists the teams that initially were voting against Manfred.  Though most in the industry have viewed Manfred as the odds-on heir apparent to Bud Selig, the voting process was apparently anything but smooth.

Personally I have no love for Reinsdorf; I feel like he’s a scrooge-like multi-millionaire who has pushed for years and years on all fronts to affect the industry in ways that lines his pockets even more.  He was the ringleader on the massive free agency collusion case and he was the impetus for capping bonus money for amateurs.  I can’t imagine the owners’ meetings being pleasant experiences right now, since Reinsdorf has basically ram-rodded into place policies that eliminated the advantages that small-market teams held in terms of player acquisition.

It was theorized elsewhere that a vote for his competitor (Red Sox chairman Tom Werner) was a vote for less revenue sharing, while a vote for Manfred was a vote for the continuation of Selig’s policies.  But that doesn’t make much sense if you look at the teams supposedly voting against Manfred (which included initially several smaller market teams).

I’ve read elsewhere that the Nats changed their vote and swung the election with tacit promises that the MASN situation would be resolved.  Which makes sense if its true, but I’m not sure how Manfred can do anything about the current lawsuits, injunctions and threats of MASN insolvency if the Oriole-owned RSN is forced to pay still-not-market rates for Nationals broadcast rights.

I have a long-in-draft mode post-morteming Selig’s tenure.  But I wonder if it is worth publishing, knowing that nearly every baseball writer out there will be doing the same, and they’ll be doing it with more time and better contacts in the industry.  We all kind of know the high and low points of his tenure.  A post for another day.

So, Manfred is set to take over in January.  I wonder what his impact will end up being.

Written by Todd Boss

August 15th, 2014 at 4:09 pm

9 Responses to 'Did the Nationals swing the vote for the new Commissioner?'

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  1. As a season ticket holder, I’m still fuming about the decision to make every fan pass through a metal detctor prior to entering the ballpark. Call it Selig’s parting gift and his last move to make being a fan of the game even more frustrating.


    15 Aug 14 at 4:34 pm

  2. Has there ever been a shooting at a ball-park? What are we trying to prevent here with metal detectors?

    Todd Boss

    15 Aug 14 at 4:51 pm

  3. Seems hard to believe that Manfred gave the Nats a tacit promise to resolve the MASN dispute when Angelos was already in his camp, and publicly praised him. I expect, as Todd said, that it will now be resolved through legal means.

    Are metal detectors such a problem? I can’t recall a shooting, but would anything surprise you these days?


    15 Aug 14 at 5:28 pm

  4. For me, metal detectors are a non-issue. Then again, I’m not exactly trying to bring anything of note IN to the park 🙂

    Todd Boss

    16 Aug 14 at 10:37 am

  5. Metal detectors = long lines to get in, are utterly unnecessary and are being forced on baseball by DHS, probably via grant money–which means the politically connected contractors who make the machines are going to make out like bandits (pun intended) at taxpayer expense.


    16 Aug 14 at 11:02 am

  6. Fair enough on the lines to get in. I guess we’ll see what the effect is. If its like when the president comes, there’ll be outrage at the gates.

    Todd Boss

    16 Aug 14 at 11:43 am

  7. Then again, if something drastic does happen, there can be way more casualties in a ballpark (> 30K people) vs. one a plane (at most 300)


    16 Aug 14 at 11:31 pm

  8. Personally, I thought the hit piece on Reinsdorf was appropriate. Over the past 30-40 years, the owners have been doing their best to wreck baseball, and Reinsdorf should be accountable for the role he’s played in that. The piece doesn’t demonize the man — just points out that he’s been a jerk in the past, and that his machinations in the choice of commissioner might be a continuation of that.

    I’m happy to give him credit for minority hires, and for all I know he’s a very decent person in other parts of his life. Doesn’t mean he gets a pass on his activities as an owner. I’m glad his preferred MLB commissioner lost.


    17 Aug 14 at 1:17 pm

  9. Hey, I certainly wasn’t defending Reinsdorf’s actions. I too have trashed him through out the history of this blog. I was just amazed at the vitriol in that particular article from a nationally known writer.

    Todd Boss

    18 Aug 14 at 8:26 am

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