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.

(Blogathon ’16) Matthew Kory: “My Friend Bud”

This guest-post is part of the 2016 Baseball Continuum Blogathon For Charity, benefiting the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation. The Roswell Park Alliance Foundation is the charitable arm of Roswell Park Cancer Institute and funds raised will be “put to immediate use to increase the pace from research trials into improved clinical care, to ensure state-of-the-art facilities, and to help improve the quality of life for patients and their families.” Please donate through the Blogathon’s GoFundMe page. Also, please note that the opinions and statements of the writer are not necessarily those of the Baseball Continuum or it’s webmaster.

*phone rings*

“Ahoy-hoy.”

“Mr Selig?”

“Speaking.”

“Hi! It’s Rob.”

“Oh, you again, Mr. Frost. Stop calling me from beyond the grave!”

“No, no…”

“And while I’ve got you here, you can’t take a road not taken. Taking a road not taken means the road not taken is taken and then it’s a road taken so your poem is stupid and it’s garbage! Go back to the land of the dead, sir, and leave me be!”

“Manfred.”

“Who?”

“Rob Manfred. I took over for you?”

“Look, I don’t know who you think you are, but nobody takes over for Bud Selig!”

“As Commissioner, sir. Commissioner of baseball.”

“Oh! Ah ha! Yes! Rob Manfred. I remember now. I thought you were noted poet Robert Frost calling from beyond the grave. It was an honest mistake. So, what kind of pickle have you got yourself into, Rob Manfred, that you need to call Old Budrick Selig?”

“Budrick?”

“You can just call me Bud.”

“Thank you, Bud.”

“Mr. Selig.”

“Right, sorry. Mr. Selig.”

“So, what kind of pickle have you got yourself into?”

“Well, you see there’s this whole DH thing…”
“DH thing? Well I have to ask right off the bat, why are you shouting when you say DH?”

“I’m not shouting, DH is capitalized because it stands for Designated Hitter.”

“DESIGNATED HITTER?”

“Yes, but again, no need to yell.”

“Well, Manfred, the way I see it is one designated hitter (quiet enough for you?) is enough. Copying the NFL is a great way to go in almost all instances, but maybe this is one where we don’t want to go quite all the way.”

“Sir, I’m talking about adding the DH to the N… uh, national league.”

“Adding it, eh? Well. That’s quite a suggestion. Baseball is a game of history, Manfred. A game of history. And you just don’t go monkeying around with history.”

“Sir, you monkeyed with history quite a bit during your time.”

“Well right. That’s me though. I’m infallible.”

“In any case, do you think I should give the DH to the National League?”

“That’s a toughie, Manfred. A real toughie.”

“Sure is.”

“zzzzzzz”

“Mr. Selig?

“zzzzzzz”

“Mr. Selig!!”

“Dammit Lincoln this isn’t the theater.”

“Mr. Selig, I’d like an answer.”

“What, oh, sure. Fine. The answer, Manfred, is that the job is yours now. The decisions are yours as well. Also it’s baseball. It’s a game. So what if you change the rules a little bit now and again. Keeps it fresh. Keeps it current. Sometimes change is the best medicine. Though you shouldn’t eat pennies. Seriously. I know from experience.”

“But what about the National League owners? What about the fans?”

“Are you seriously telling me people want to watch pitchers hit? Of course they don’t. Paying money to watch pitchers hitting is like paying money to watch ants screw. Very little happens and then it’s over and you’re like, wait what?”

“That’s quite an analogy.”

“Nobody likes pitchers hitting. And they’re terrible at it. We have genuine issues facing baseball, Manfred. Cutting out one of the few bad parts shouldn’t be one of them.”

“Thanks, Bud.”

“Budrick.”

“Budrick.”

“Right. But you can call me Mr. Selig. In any case I’ve got to go. There’s a special on PBS about ants screwing right now that I don’t want to miss.”

Matthew Kory is a writer at many different venues, most recently FanGraphs, Baseball Prospectus, and Vice Sports. He’s written about lots of different stuff and googling his name will lead you to either him or a podcast called the Matthew and Kory Show. Litigation is ongoing. You can follow him at @mattymatty2000. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, two kids, cat, and broken dreams.

This guest-post has been part of the 2016 Baseball Continuum Blogathon For Charity, benefiting the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation. The Roswell Park Alliance Foundation is the charitable arm of Roswell Park Cancer Institute and funds raised will be “put to immediate use to increase the pace from research trials into improved clinical care, to ensure state-of-the-art facilities, and to help improve the quality of life for patients and their families.” Please donate through the Blogathon’s GoFundMe page. Also, please note that the opinions and statements of the writer were not necessarily those of the Baseball Continuum or it’s webmaster.