The Commissioner’s Trophy is stupid and should be replaced

There’s a lot of talk about how tone-deaf Commissioner Rob Manfred’s response to the Astros cheating scandal has been. Perhaps the apex of it was when, yesterday, he referred to the Commissioner’s Trophy AKA the World Series trophy as a “piece of metal.”

Imagine if Roger Goodell referred to the Lombardi Trophy as a “piece of metal,” or Gary Bettman called the Stanley Cup a “piece of metal.” Completely and totally tone-deaf way to treat what is your sport’s ultimate objective. Justin Turner rightfully pointed out how horrible a comment it was by saying that the thing devaluing the trophy right now that it has “commissioner” in the name.

However, the fact that Manfred would even dare to call the trophy a mere piece of metal speaks to something I said all the way back in 2012: the Commissioner’s Trophy is the worst of all major sports trophies.

It doesn’t have the history of the Stanley Cup. It doesn’t have iconic images of great stars weeping as they hold it. It isn’t portable and easily hoistable. It’s just… kind of there. It’s handed out because they need to have something to present.

So perhaps we should use Manfred’s horrible comments as an opportunity to get rid of the goddamn thing once and for all. Maybe bring back the Temple Cup, or reforge the Dauvray Cup, or come up with a brand new design.

And then maybe, once MLB has a better trophy, it’s own commissioner won’t just think of it as mere metal.

Baseball needs a better trophy

On Monday, the Stanley Cup was handed out. It is a a nearly 120-year-old trophy that is more revered than the actual event that is played for the right to have it. People have drunk out of it, had their kids baptized in it, it’s been thrown in rivers and pools and knocked off tables. There are names on it that are misspelled or put on as gags. Wherever it goes, it has at least one concierge with it. Every year, it produces a instant image that would become etched in the mind of that team’s fans: the captain hoisting it above his head, parading it around the ice.

In October, the winner of the World Series will receive the Commissioner’s Trophy (did you even know it had a name?), a rather uniconic statuette that has a new copy made every year for the champion, unlike the Cup, which goes from team to team. It only dates back to 1967. There are no iconic images of the Commissioner’s Trophy: no hoistings by the team leader, no images of a unflappable star weeping as they hold it and certainly no thrustings into the air as confetti falls. Why, the default pose with the Commissioner’s Trophy is just kind of holding it, like Lance Berkman did. Although Pedro used it as a hat, which is kind of cool.

(more after jump)

Continue reading