Cleat Geeks

Why Rob Manfred Is Wrong About Mike Trout

Does baseball have a marketing problem? This is the claim made in defense of radical new proposals to the sport. Extra inning games can be long for example. Should we start players on base to start the free innings? Extra seconds apparently bore people. The Commissioner’s Office wants to talk about pitch clocks and penalizing batters like Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner for taking extra seconds at the box.Image result for rob manfred

This is what we’re led to believe is the problem.

If we look around to other sports, there are clear ambassadors of the sport. The NFL has players like Tom Brady and the NBA has Lebron James, among numerous other talented players.

We know that baseball has Mike Trout, but for some reason, he’s not considered one of those huge names in sports that even non-fans know.


The Commissioner, the leader and boss of the league, chimed in before the All Star Game:

“Player marketing requires one thing for sure—the player. You cannot market a player passively. You can’t market anything passively. You need people to engage with those to whom you are trying to market in order to have effective marketing. We are very interested in having our players more engaged and having higher-profile players and helping our players develop their individual brand. But that involves the player being actively engaged.”

This is all wrong. Does the Commissioner even know what his job is?

Mike Trout is a player and an extremely talented one at that. He puts up monster numbers and is having a historic career. He is not only doing his job, but better than many of his peers and those who took the field long before him.

And Rob Manfred says Trout isn’t doing enough?

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If Trout were a pitch clock, Manfred would be aggressively pushing him. If Trout were an extra runner being started on base to kick off the eleventh inning, Manfred would be advertising him. If Trout were taking mere seconds extra at the batter’s box, Manfred would be making an example out of him.

But when Trout is being one of the best, if not the best, ambassadors of the brand, he’s still not doing enough.

The point is that if anyone isn’t doing their job, it’s the Commissioner. Mike Trout’s job as a player is to play the game. He’s an entertainer and an athlete. When he takes the batter’s box or steps onto the field, fans know it’s a unique experience. This is because Trout is among the best.

If the Commissioner’s job isn’t to market baseball and show the world the best of what they have to offer, what is the point in Rob Manfred’s position?

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