Rob Manfred: “The Consigliere Commissioner”

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Missed this the other day, but here’s a great read from Tim Elfrink and Gus Garcia-Roberts at Grantland about incoming commissioner Rob Manfred.

It talks about how he got where he is now and, far more importantly, the manner in which he changed baseball’s approach to labor and, more significantly, PED issues. About how, working behind the scenes and largely unnoticed by the media, he played a huge role in crafting the current state of those worlds. Often by grabbing power when he could get away with it, often by wisely holding back and playing the long game. Never, it seems, losing his cool or sight of the larger picture.

A huge takeaway here: just how thoroughly Manfred has outfoxed the union on PED matters. It’s also worth nothing that, however much Bud Selig has grown in the job from an old school, kill-the-union commissioner to one who is more savvy about things, Manfred started out as savvy from the get-go. He’s a different man altogether than the union and baseball fans who pay attention to such matters is used to dealing with and, often, enjoy caricaturizing.

It’ll be interesting to see how the behind-the-scenes guy transitions into a front-and-center guy. Not for P.R. purposes as such. I mean, yes, people will focus on how Manfred performs in his “face of the game” role. As we’ve noted several times, however, that stuff isn’t the source of a commissioner’s power. The relationship with the owners is. Can Manfred continue to be as tough as he is portrayed in the article with the owners as commissioner as he was as consigliere? Or are there matters of soft power there that he’ll need to work on better?

He’s certainly smart enough to know what he doesn’t know. But brains aren’t always the be-all, end-all in power dynamics. Ask Tom Hagen, the guy who Elfrink and Garcia-Roberts start out their article with. He did his job well. Then, for a brief time anyway, was acting Don. It didn’t go too well. Eventually, he was pushed aside.

Orioles set new MLB record with 259th home run allowed

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Update (9:04 PM EST): The game went into a rain delay with one out in the bottom of the fifth inning of a 2-2 tie, so the game isn’t official yet. Which means the Orioles aren’t yet the official record holders.

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A third-inning solo home run by Austin Meadows off of Asher Wojciechowski on Thurday night marked the 259th home run Orioles pitching has allowed this season, setting a new major league record, per MASN’s Roch Kubatko. The previous record was held by the 2016 Reds at 258. Willie Adames hit No. 260, a game-tying solo shot in the fifth inning. The Orioles will have 34 more games to add on to their record after tonight.

The Yankees have famously accounted for 61 of the 260 home runs (23.5%) against Orioles pitchers this season. The Red Sox are next at 28 followed by the Twins and Blue Jays at 23 each.

David Hess has accounted for the most home runs on the O’s staff, yielding 28 dingers. Dylan Bundy is next at 25 homers allowed.

The Orioles are not the only team that will pass the 2016 Reds. The Mariners are on pace to allow 275 home runs. The Yankees, 266. Phillies, 262. Angels, 259. Pretty amazing.