Terry Francona Lashes Out Against MLB Rule Proposal
Terry Francona Lashes Out Against MLB Rule Proposal | Sports Takes & News | TooAthletic.com
Major League Baseball returned to the diamond this weekend after the All-Star break and with it came reaction from those in uniform to what commissioner Rob Manfred said earlier in the week. One veteran manager, Cleveland’s Terry Francona, lashed out at a new rule being discussed by Manfred, telling the commissioner he was catering to those who don’t play baseball the right way and dictating to managers how they can play the game.
Terry Francona is a second-generation baseball guy and is as respected as any manager is in the Majors. It is this respect throughout the game that gives credence to his opinion on how Rob Manfred wants to alter the rules under baseball’s new collective bargaining agreement credibility.
Speaking before Cleveland’s first game after the All-Star break Friday, Francona was asked about the comments Manfred made regarding the limiting of defensive shifts after the commissioner said he would like to see two infielders on each side of second base during game. Francona, not one to hold back his opinion, lashed out at the idea from many different angles when he said:
“I’m not a big fan when they tell you how to compete and I will probably always feel that way. They’re trying to get more offense in the game, I understand that, but you seem like you’re rewarding guys that don’t use the whole field. That to me doesn’t make sense. We’re trying to get guys back to using the whole field because you get rewarded for it for hitting correctly. Now all of a sudden, guys can pull the ball and you’re going to get rewarded for it. I think it’s a little backwards.”
I could not agree with Terry Francona more: Major League Baseball, instead of teaching players how to use the whole field while at the plate is preventing defenses from doing what they are designed to do … have players in position to catch batted balls where they are hit. Defensive shifts are as much a part of baseball’s history as having the bases 90 feet apart.
Could you imagine what Ted Williams would have hit if defensives didn’t shift against the Red Sox Hall of Famers? Williams was much like today’s players because he believed he could hit the ball through or over the shift and rarely gave into it by hitting the ball the opposite field, something today’s lesser talented sluggers should do since they don’t possess Williams’ natural abilities.
It is a shame that Rob Manfred believes limiting defensive shifts might be the only way to bring offense back to baseball and he is not listening to people like Terry Francona, a manager who has been in dugouts longer than Manfred has thought about baseball as anything other than a business. Then again, when you wear the uniform of a player and manager like Francona, life looks a lot different than when you don a three-piece suit and watch the game from a skybox. This is why Manfred is clueless and Francona gets it, and the latter should be part of the team involved in helping baseball get better again, not the former.
Sadly, Terry Francona’s words were not strong enough to reach New York City from Cleveland, which prevented Rob Manfred from hearing his own voice and allowing him to ignore them rather than take them to heart and find other ways to improve the game of baseball.
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Terry Francona Lashes Out Against MLB Rule Proposal | TooAthletic.com