Evan Drellich – The Athletic ($): There’s a chance that Major League Baseball isn’t actually messing with the baseballs. Time and time again MLB has proven itself to be an organization that struggles to perform even the simplest of tasks. Maybe, just maybe, they really weren’t trying to deaden the ball for the playoffs this year. However, Rob Manfred has done a tremendous job of making it where MLB is not to be trusted, ever. He is a snake oil salesman and MLB is the balm you know doesn’t really work. Of course, we’re all going to believe that MLB is intentionally coloring the baseballs, that’s the world MLB has created.
J.J. Cooper – Baseball America ($): Minor League Baseball isn’t just essential to the existence of MLB, it’s essential to the existence of baseball period. The thing that MLB does not care about, but that matters more than anything, is the long term popularity of the game of baseball. MiLB and the unaffiliated leagues are where the majority of fans are created these days. MLB games are simply too expensive for kids to spend the time needed falling in love with the game of baseball. It makes sense than that MLB would want to gut the collection of teams that fuel the future of the sport. Manfred and his cronies don’t care about when MLB dies, as long as they make their money beforehand.
Marc Carig – The Athletic ($): One of my favorite books is Heroes Die by Matthew Woodring Stover. The general idea of that novel is that no one lives forever and even the greatest of us come crashing to reality at one point or another. This is true for our sports figures, yet that doesn’t mean we actually believe they will fall. We expected CC Sabathia to pitch forever, even as we knew the end was approaching. When the end did come, the expectation was that he would gut his way through his body letting him down yet again. Sabathia couldn’t outlast fate, heroes do die, even if we don’t want them to.
Lead photo courtesy of Alex Trautwig – Getty Images