As Major League Baseball and the MLBPA remain at a standoff regarding return-to-play proposals for the 2020 season, Rob Manfred is “failing as badly as you could fail,” Brandon Tierney says. The sport needs leadership, and Manfred has provided none of it. He has been “sloppy” with messaging, is not acting in the best interest of the game, and looks more like a No. 2 than a No. 1 from a leadership standpoint.
Former MLB executive and current MLB Network Radio analyst Jim Duquette agrees.
“I think that’s more than fair,” Duquette said on Tiki & Tierney. “He has shown, rather than leadership in this situation – and part of this is you kind of forget a little bit that he was a lawyer. He was not an owner like Commissioner Selig was.”
Selig, who owned the Milwaukee Brewers, served as commissioner from 1998 to 2015. His legacy is, in a word, complicated.
“Everyone faults Commissioner Selig for the job that he did, but he did get consensus with the owners primarily because he was one of them,” Duquette explained. “He was an owner. He could lead. ‘Hey, I understand your point, but as a commissioner, I think this is [what’s] best for the sport. Sometimes he would take his opinion, which might be adverse [for] the Milwaukee Brewers, which was the team he owned. It might be against what he would think if he was just an owner of the team. So he gained respect from the owners.”
Manfred, meanwhile, might be easier to manipulate.
“Commissioner Manfred was a lawyer,” Duquette said. “In this particular situation, I‘m told behind the scenes, he’s not even giving his recommendation. He’s giving, ‘Here are the options. What do you guys want to do? I’ll go forward and make that proposal to the union.’ Well, that’s not being a leader. That is more of a No. 2 type of position and an assistant. What the sport needs is leadership.”