Not just commissioner of the Major Baseball League (MBL). Oh, and its affiliated minor leagues. And over baseball players in foreign lands who might want to play in the MBL. This individual is commissioner of an entire sport. Or so the title suggests.
If a bunch of us go down to a field and choose up sides to play a game, does it mean that the commissioner can suddenly show up and tell us what to do? Make us stop? Blah, blah, blah?
Incumbent commissioner Rob Manfred, aka, Manfred the A-Rod Slayer, has been quoted in multiple sources stating that the opt-out clause is "disproportionately pro-player". I do not agree but the point is that the commissioner took sides. When has a baseball commissioner taken sides with the players and not the owners? The commissioner always favors the owners over the players.
And with good reason: the owners hire, pay and fire the commissioner.
Neither football nor basketball have commissioners. Their respective top professional leagues have commissioners: National Football League (NFL) and National Basketball Association (NBA). The NBA now has a developmental league but basically both sports, especially football, get most of their talent from U.S. colleges, which are regulated by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), not by the pro commissioner.
Even the venerable New York Times falls prey to the illusion that the sport of baseball has a commissioner. Its Sports section has these subsections:
No mention of any baseball leagues, including my own invention, the MBL.
Merger: AL and NL merged years ago. How come no one noticed? Wednesday, October 19, 2011