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Enemy of Good Uniforms Gets Contract Extension

A bit of uni-related news flying under the radar yesterday was the announcement that MLB commish Rob Manfred has received a four-year contract extension.

It is hard to overstate how bad Rob Manfred has been for MLB uniforms. Here is a partial list of what has taken place on his watch since he assumed the commissioner’s title in 2015:

Obviously, not all of these developments were Manfred’s idea. But they all happened on his watch, and he did nothing to stop any of them. He is almost certainly the worst thing ever to happen to MLB uniforms, and his new contract extension is therefore a harbinger of further bad uni news in the years to come. History will not judge him kindly, and neither should we.

Comments (31)

    Second worst commish ever. (Landis)

    Makes Allan H. Selig look good in comparison.

    I wonder how different a path MLB would have taken had Bart Giamatti not untimely passed…

    I’d put Eckert higher on the bad list. What did he do? Nothing. Exactly.


    Ironically, the changes he green lighted this year for pace of play adjustments might be one of the significant and positive actions a commissioner has taken in the last 50 years. Agreed he is bad on pretty much everything else, particularly uniforms (though by that measure, Adam Silver has to be worst uni commissioner of all time).

    iirc he became Commissioner in 2027 so thus 4 years contract lines up pretty well with that

    He’s also doing his best to fast track the nonsensical relocation of the A’s to Las Vegas. The owners may like him, but he’s a fan’s nightmare.

    Bill White foretold the disastrous Selig and now Manfred commissionerships in his fantastic memoir entitled “Uppity.” Selig and Manfred have turned the role into nothing more than a CFO position, a frontman for the owners, hell bent on maximizing revenue in exchange for the very soul of the game.

    It’s a disgrace that Selig was able to waltz into the HOF. Manfred will probably get the same reward.

    Paul’s submitted Facts (or declaration, as it were) reads like another “History of repeated Injuries and Usurpations, all having in direct Object the Establishment of an absolute (Uni)Tyranny.”

    I was at the Nationals at Cubs game in 2019 on players’ weekend when the Cubs wore blue caps instead of white. Jon Lester was pitching and he didn’t want to wear the white cap. I don’t remember if the Cubs got in trouble for that.

    No pitchers wore the white cap. MLB in its infinite wisdom didn’t realize pitchers in white caps is a no-go. Most wore the black cap, but some wore the team cap.




    But yes, the Cubs specifically rebelled against the white caps en masse


    This article complains about the Nike swoosh appearing on the chest of the uniforms. When the uniforms were supplied by Majestic. The majestic logo was on the left sleeve of the jersey.

    Yes — and the chest is a much worse spot than the sleeve. Nike paid extra to move it to that spot. That’s the whole point.

    The fans were the ones who wanted the swoosh on the sleeve. If you look at every league where Nike is the uniform supplier. It’s in the same spot as the rest. If Under Armour would’ve never bailed out on being MLB’s uniform supplier. The logo would’ve been in the same spot. You can argue how would I know and all you have to do is look at UA uniforms. It’s in the same spot.

    I don’t think the MLB uniforms should have ads on them. They same way I feel neither should the NBA or NHL. But then by that belief, we should get rid of ads plastered on the front of soccer jerseys.

    But yet you have other leagues around the world where the players look like walking billboards. I grew up without ads on uniforms. But others in the world, where ads were commonplace. They’d probably have a different take on it.

    But it seems to me that you only what to have the conversation. As long as it starts and stays on your side of the street.

    Yes, the UA logo would’ve been on the chest — because, as was reported at the time, they paid more to have it there. And it would’ve looked like shit, just like the Nike logo on the chest looks like shit.

    Nike would gladly pay more to have the swoosh on the chest of NFL jerseys, too — but the NFL has said that that spot is not for sale.

    Manfred made the chest available for sale — that’s the problem.

    Majestic, like Rawlings before them, had a small mark at the hem of the sleeve. Generally inconspicuous. Nike has a gigantic swoosh on the chest for all to see. Apples to locomotives.

    Baseball needs get a committee of insiders, outsiders, media types, and former players to vote on a commissioner. Baseball needs a commissioner who is not just beholden to the owners, but acts in the good of the game.

    We should all get a vote. Maybe we can petition to remove their antitrust exemption unless they put it up for open election.

    Ah yes but he’s shortened the game so we don’t have to look at these atrocities quite as long

    I was reading the list of transgressions and I didn’t realize how much the belt loop logo bothered me. They’re all bad but if I were to rank all of these, that would be near the top for me.

    That is an exhaustive list. And the shame of it is, there is so much ick that the few things he has done well get lost. The Phillies and Orioles played a 6-4 game in 2:21 last night and were done before 8.30p. That’s pretty good!
    But he makes his bosses money like Goodell, so he stays. Which sucks for the fans and the game.

    So I’m gonna go ahead and say something controversial here. Rob Manfred is a great Commissioner. Yup, I will die on this hill. He’s certainly made some choices I don’t like. Uni ads. The Manfred Man. But aside from that, what has he even done wrong? The new rules are absolutely phenomenal. Baseball has never been better in my lifetime! He may have saved the game in the long term.

    It’s fashionable to hate the Commissioner of every sport. Literally none of the big 4 are liked. Honestly, I do think some of it is groupthink and immaturity. Because Rob Manfred has changed this game massively, and almost universally for the better.

    That’s a fair point and I will agree with you that the new “rules” have been a tremendous success.

    But this is a uniform site, and in terms of what has transpired, uniform-wise, under Manfred, he’s the worst commissioner ever. I still think he sucks (only worse commish was Landis), but what’s that they say about blind squirrels and nuts?

    Say what you will about his non-uni tenure. But as uni-piles, it’s hard to argue he’s not the worst and it isn’t even close.

    I have to agree with Phil on the ranking of the worst commissioners ever, and in Manfred’s case, it’s not just unis, where he’s an unmitigated disaster, having pretty much destroyed a huge part of the game’s esthetic. The Manfred Man, for example, is a bit of garbage we wouldn’t have done in an intramural softball league. A lot of the recent changes came with the barely-below-the-surface idea best expressed as “the game itself absolutely sucks, so let’s shorten it and get it the hell over with”. As awful an owner’s toady as Bettman is, he at least seems to like hockey. Baseball once upon a time had a commissioner who theoretically represented the entire sport, not just the owners. Selig ended that and Manfred makes Bud look good by comparison, no easy feat.

    That’s like saying he’s not the worst because the other one was a serial killer.

    Manfred has been horrible when it comes to uniforms but brilliant with the new rules. But what he did to uniforms is far worse than implementing the new rules, especially as there is more to come in advertising under his leadership I think: ads on helmets and hats, ads on bases, sponsorship by inning (both announced in the stadium and on air).

    He’s atrocious, but in this case you need 2 or 3 to tango: players and owners. On the uniform, it’s been no doubt the worst era despite stark improvements in San Diego’s, Milwaukee’s, Toronto’s, Houston’s (not great but by default, great) everyday unis. MLB can claim a continual uptick in revenue….but it has all to do with selling everything including the blades of grass and nothing to do with attracting new fans. Starting with the no-pitch walk, continuing with pressing on with Interleague Play despite the only continued interest being in intercity rivalries, the continued destruction of the leagues…there are no rule changes over the last 25 years that haven’t attracted more new fans than have turned off old ones. The one thing that has opened eyes: the shortened game, comes at the cost of enforcing something so profoundly not the game’s tradition or brand: the clock. I still say this could’ve been taken care of by making the umps earn their keep in game where they do less and less. They should be enforcing tempo of play that is unique to each game. Let them make judgement calls in keeping hitters in the box and pitchers on the rubber. 2.75-3 hours average can work as a guideline. Throwing an MLB quality pitch and hitting it demand professional concentration. Neither pitcher nor batter should have to keep their eye on a clock as well at that point. This can be done and become natural again. Just saw footage of a relaxed but focused vintage Tom Seaver taking a natural 8 seconds between pitches. Also can you imagine a pivotal game being determined by a clock violation? What bullshit! Let the umps enforce pace of play and have it result in a normal ejection process if a player or manager has a persistent argument about that judgement call during a game. Back to regularly scheduled uni grievances.

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