Baseball might be America's past-time, but it's now the third-least popular sport in the country. With constant changes in the MLB, it isn't always easy to draw the huge audiences that the NFL and NBA do. Then there's another aspect of it: Everybody believes commissioner Rob Manfred is making baseball more boring and is only interested in making more money for the owners and not actually elevating the game.
His response to the critics claiming he “hates” baseball? It couldn't be further from the truth.
“It is the most ridiculous thing, among some fairly ridiculous things that get said about me,” he said. “The assertion that I hate the game — that one does rub me the wrong way, I have to tell you the truth.”
The MLB commissioner dropped a truth bomb on why he really does love this sport so much, recalling the first time he ever watched baseball as a child:
“It was the first game I ever saw in my life,” he says. “I remember how I felt walking into that stadium. The field was just so immaculate. I actually loved the game before I got there, and even more when I left. It's really that simple.
“And it's not me that matters, at the end of the day. It's the game that matters.”
Let's be honest. Manfred would be catching a lot more flak if the MLB and MLBPA didn't reach an agreement to have Opening Day essentially start at the same time as usual after the lockout.
There are numerous reasons people believe Manfred is making the MLB worse. Humidors in stadiums to prevent more home runs. There's also less juice in the baseballs now because the league is trying to encourage more contact rather than long balls. Problem is, that is making the Majors more boring, especially to fans. They love to see baseballs launched 400+ feet into the seats.
Nevertheless, Manfred is just trying to improve the MLB and it's clear he doesn't loathe the game by any means, no matter what the haters say.