Rob Manfred Endorses MLB Staying Out Of Politics With Atlanta Hosting 2025 All-Star Game
Dec 7, 2022; San Diego, CA, USA; MLB commissioner Rob Manfred presents the Allan H. Selling Award for philanthropic excellence during the 2022 MLB Winter Meetings at Manchester Grand Hyatt. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred announced back in November of 2023 that the 2025 All-Star Game is to take place in Atlanta. The decision was met with immediate backlash, as it was less than three years ago that MLB took the Midsummer Classic away from Atlanta in 2021.

The league made the choice to award the 2021 All-Star Game to the Colorado Rockies after Georgia passed controversial laws scaling back voting rights in the state. It’s not the first time a major sports league removed the All-Star Game from a state after passing laws of that nature, as the NBA took their game away from Charlotte in 2017 as a response to a bill that scaled back anti-discrimination policies for members of the LGBTQ+ community.

But the NBA returned to Charlotte just two years later, in 2019, and MLB is doing the same with Atlanta. Manfred is already a less-than-popular figure league-wide, and has chosen the path of least resistance when it comes to political matters, according to Evan Drellich of The Athletic:

“Look, I think that one of the things we’ve learned over time is that the more we stay out of political issues, the better off we are, that people like their sports separate from their politics,” he continued. “We’ve got a fan base that’s all over the political spectrum, and that the safest thing for us to do is focus on baseball, do the best job we can delivering our product to our fans.

“And we felt that there’s a lot of disappointment in Atlanta is a result of losing the All-Star Game, and that it was time to go back there.”

Manfred felt the most fair way to determine All-Star Game locations are not by his personal beliefs, but rather what would be best for the fans of the game.

“I just never thought that,” he said. “I think it is difficult to make those judgments in a way that doesn’t offend part of your fan base, and that we’re better off focusing on playing the game on the field.”

Given that the NBA made a similar calculation within the last decade, Manfred likely felt empowered to bring the game back to Atlanta. And while some fans of MLB may not be happy with the decision, Manfred was put in a position where fans might be upset regardless of which way he goes.

His ultimate decision, to ignore politics and give the 2025 All-Star Game to Atlanta, is likely the way he’ll continue governing the game as his tenure moves forward.

Rob Manfred downplays pitcher injury concerns

Manfred, MLB’s commissioner since 2015, has been widely panned for his response to various critical issues and his handling of some of the game’s biggest moments over the last 10 seasons. But one issue he has not frequently discussed is the rise in pitcher injuries and what can be done to curb it.

He spoke about the subject recently, giving some data-backed answers while downplaying the severity of the issue and whether or not anything needs to be done about it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *