Rob Manfred: “Excessive regulation could have a really dramatic impact” on minors

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Recently, legislation proposed by Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL) and Brett Guthrie (R-KY) called “Save America’s Pastime Act,” or H.R. 5580, would have amended language in the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 so that Major League Baseball could continue to pay minor league players a pittance.

After widespread public criticism, Bustos withdrew her support for the bill, but Major League Baseball doubled down. In a press release, MLB called minor league ball “not a career but a short-term seasonal apprenticeship.”

That comment, too, received widespread criticism. On Tuesday, speaking to the media prior to the 2016 All-Star Game at Petco Park, commissioner Rob Manfred tripled down. Via Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times:

Which, obviously, is hogwash. Major League Baseball was valued at nearly $9.5 billion according to Forbes last December. And just a few weeks ago, Major League Baseball sold a 33 percent share in Advanced Media to Disney, valued at around $1.1 billion. Manfred could lose a billion in the couch cushions and Major League Baseball wouldn’t skip a beat. It could certainly afford to pay its minor leaguers a living wage such that they wouldn’t have to cram more people into an apartment than there are bedrooms and bathrooms. It could pay them enough to ensure they’re eating vegetables instead of fast food.

Also implied in Manfred’s statement, and explicitly said in MLB’s statement, is that the small towns support the minor league franchises. That’s not the case. The major league teams are responsible for covering the costs of its minor league affiliates.

Blue Jays hire Don Mattingly as bench coach

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

TORONTO — Don Mattingly is joining the Toronto Blue Jays as bench coach to manager John Schneider, the team announced.

The former New York Yankees slugger, a six-time All-Star, joins the Blue Jays after seven seasons as manager of the Florida Marlins, where he won NL Manager of the Year honors in 2020.

Mattingly previously spent five seasons as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, winning three division titles in that span. He also worked as hitting coach and bench coach for the Yankees, and as hitting coach of the Dodgers before his managerial stint in Los Angeles.

In Toronto, Mattingly replaces Casey Candaele, who was promoted from Triple-A Buffalo to serve as Schneider’s bench coach after the Jays fired manager Charlie Montoyo in July, replacing him with Schneider. The Blue Jays said Candaele will resume his job as manager of the Triple-A Bisons in 2023.

Mattingly spent his entire 14-year playing career with the Yankees, winning nine Gold Glove awards at first base, three Silver Slugger awards, the 1984 AL batting title and the 1985 AL MVP award.