Rob Manfred is back at it again with a proposed trade involving MLB rules
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has made several changes to the rules since taking over the job. He got his way in 2020 by instituting even more experimental changes, including a universal DH and an expanded postseason.
More playoff games means more money for the league. It also means teams with losing records, such as the Houston Astros this past year, can sneak into October. Teams also faced a best-of-three series in the first round in what became a longer road to the World Series.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan wrote a long offseason piece and mentioned something about Manfred that may have some baseball fans feeling frustrated. Apparently, he wants to offer a deal where the league keeps the universal DH if the players agree to an expanded postseason.
Manfred making deals with the rules
At this point it seems the obvious thing to do is keep designated hitters in the National League. It creates an extra spot in the lineup for an actual batter and takes away the frustrations for American League teams in inter-league play. The experiment seemed to work in 2020 and it was long overdue to begin with.
But is it only going to stay if there is an expanded postseason? The extra revenue is the goal from Manfred. However, 16 teams seems like a bit much during a 162-game season. It is big news in the NFL when a 7-9 team makes the playoff. What happens if a 81-81 team makes the MLB postseason and only needs to take two of three to advance to the Division Series?
Of course, top teams should beat those beneath them in the standings. Still, there is supposed to be some sort of reward for a great regular season.
Manfred will also only drive more tension between the league and the players if he insists on making deals for rule changes. That could establish a dangerous precedent instead of just making changes that are the best for the game. Doing things simply for money when they are not wanted from fans or players is going to eventually backfire.