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Ex-MLB commissioner takes successor to task
Vincent in rare rebuke of Manfred
Good morning all. Hope you had a terrific weekend.
It is a rarity for a former baseball commissioner to criticize the current occupant of that office, but former MLB commissioner Fay Vincent issued a rebuke to Commissioner Rob Manfred’s move to pull the All-Star game out of Atlanta. Manfred yanked the game from the Peach State 10 days ago because of Georgia’s new voting law, claimed by some as being restrictive. Vincent thought the move a knee jerk reaction.
“The only people hurt by Mr Manfred’s decision will be Atlanta’s stadium workers and local vendors,” Vincent wrote in an op-ed piece last week in the Wall St. Journal.
Vincent also wrote, if Georgia is “racist, how can baseball talk of doing business with China? Mr. Manfred failed to spell out specific criticisms of Georgia’s voting law. Now he’s put himself in the awkward position of having to defend Colorado’s voting laws.”
Using the Duke lacrosse case as an example of jumping to conclusions, Vincent cautioned Manfred that baseball treads into dangerous territory and risks alienating a portion of its fan base, when it starts taking stands on political issues.
As I wrote earlier, I believe Manfred’s decision was based on the players association’s push to move the game, no matter how uninformed the union may have been on the issue. It is his effort to ease what shapes up as a contentious negotiation over a new players’ agreement, when the current one expires in December.
It should also be noted that Vincent was the last commissioner, who thought he in that position as a caretaker of the game, rather than a tool of the owners. It’s the biggest reason the owners fired him.
College sports at a crossroads?
In my neck of the woods, one of the big stories is talk the University of Hartford may downgrade its athletic program from DI to DIII. This, by the way, after the men’s basketball program qualified for the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history. However, according to a study commissioned by the university, the athletic program is losing $13 million a year.
University president Gregory Woodward claims the school did not realize one extra cent from the trip to Indianapolis. But even if it did, and for that matter even though Hartford gets paid during the regular basketball season to play top Division I teams, it is nowhere near enough to offset a $13 million annual loss.
I think the larger question is how many other Hartfords are out there? Woodward says only about 20 schools have athletic programs that turn a profit? 20 schools out of 357 DI programs, including football? Yikes!
How can that be when the NCAA reaps billions just from its television contracts with CBS, Turner, FOX, ESPN and regional sports networks?
Programs losing $13 million or more per year, or for that matter less per year are unsustainable. The day of reckoning is near for not only Hartford but other schools as well. Perhaps the solution may be to find a better way of redistributing the big TV money the NCAA receives, rather than concentrate on a few schools. Isn’t redistribution of wealth a popular topic in college classrooms? Expect the Hartford story to be the first of many.
Alex Rodriguez to MLB, take that!
Thwarted in his attempt to buy the New York Mets, Alex Rodriguez has now turned his sights to the NBA. Word emerged over the weekend that ARod and his financial partner are in line to buy the Minnesotan Timberwolves and the Minnesota Lynx of the WNBA.
Apparently this is an emerging trend; athletes buying franchises in other sports. LeBron James bought in to the Boston Red Sox. So why not have a former MLB player buy in to the NBA? This will be an interesting story to follow.
What happened to the out-of-town scoreboard?
You know that hand-operated out-of-town scoreboard built into the “Green Monster” at Fenway Park? It seems the scores are not being posted, at least during the Red Sox first home stand. According to the Boston Globe, it takes two people to operate the scoreboard, but due to COVID-19 protocol, only one person is allowed inside the scoreboard.
How much does The Masters winner earn?
Finally, if you’re wondering how much the winner of the 2021 Masters Tournament wins here’s your answer: $2,070,000. The second place winner snags $1.242M. Even players who did not make the cut collect $10,000 each.
Total tournament prize money is $11,500,000, still not enough to save the University of Hartford athletic program.
That’s it for today. I hope you have a tremendous week. As always, thank you for your support.