Reds ace Trevor Bauer tweeted this morning to invite commissioner Rob Manfred to a discussion on how to grow the game. It was a clear challenge to the current state of the sport and should show how ugly an MLB lockout will get. If baseball wants to turn this train wreck around, they have to work with the players towards a solution.
Dear Rob Manfred,— Trevor Bauer (@BauerOutage) September 16, 2020
I’m open to hosting a one on one discussion on @Watch_Momentum channels centering around the current state of baseball, the problems the industry faces, and ways to grow the game moving forward. It would reach many baseball fans and provide much needed clarity
contact with me at your earliest convenience.— Trevor Bauer (@BauerOutage) September 16, 2020
Bauer wants to have a transparent conversation, but MLB leadership doesn’t see player involvement and happiness as an accomplishment. Manfred knows that a public dialogue might lead to player empowerment and that’s bad for league owners. Players being able to promote and express themselves the way Bauer suggests would give them leverage. Players that have power will in turn dig into their cash and that’s the issue here.
Transparency that Bauer suggests will expose the league for what’s blatantly obvious for those that are paying attention: Rob Manfred is facilitating the easiest possible path for ownership to silence player power. Powerless workers in general have no leg to stand on in negotiations. What a coincidence that the MLB CBA expires by the end of the year.
The Reds ace even pinned a tweet that shows how often Manfred moves independently without any input from his players.
So, Rob, explain to us how you can be 100% sure that there’s going to be baseball but not confident there will be baseball at the same time? hmmm. What changed between those statements 🤔🤔 Players told you to set the season, but it’s too early to set the season right now,— Trevor Bauer (@BauerOutage) June 15, 2020
So where is this headed?
Trevor Bauer is simply trying to make baseball a partnership between MLB owners and the players. He wants baseball to mirror other leagues lending an ear to players that clearly works. The problem is that team yearly revenue is no longer important because they’ll just take a bigger piece of a smaller pie. If a team loses $200 million due to COVID, they’ll just break the dreams of minor leaguers throughout their system. They in turn get every penny they expected.
Bauer’s mission would eventually put a halt to money grabs like this and that’s why Manfred won’t be a part of it. Here’s another example of baseball refusing to give players a platform:
violate the policy. Meanwhile…a player wears cleats that DIRECTLY VIOLATE YOUR OWN POLICY and one of your official accounts promotes it?! In case you need a reminder, “designs that contain corporate or commercial logos […]are prohibited”…here’s your words on the matter 👇🏻👇🏻 pic.twitter.com/BdVhiCDFDm— Trevor Bauer (@BauerOutage) September 8, 2020
Rob Manfred sees giving up power now as a punt on lucrative and one-sided deals for ownership. What he doesn’t calculate for is that growing individual players will influence revenue across the board. Rob would rather cut a slice for himself than make a bigger pie for everyone.
Tony Clark and the Players Association are taking note of all the minor league cuts and player suppression. They’ll take those gestures personally, and a league lockout will reflect their anger. Disagreements will now be more public and players won’t be taken advantage of in this offseason’s CBA.
Players are headed towards an all out war with MLB ownership and Trevor Bauer is trying to help. Our only hope now is that Manfred agrees to the dialogue and accepts some criticism.