I wasn’t a big Rob Manfred fan from the get-go when he started to implement things like pitch clocks to speed up my wonderfully slow baseball. He’s not fooling me – he wants to turn the product into more of a television sport to align closer to sports like the NFL – something it will never be.
But Manfred moved up a peg in my book when he said during an ESPN Outside the Lines interview the following:
Nobody’s talking about a situation where anyone, any way involved with the play of the game on the field would be subject to rules different than they are today. The ban on that type of involvement would stay in place.
Having said that, gambling in terms of our society has changed its presence. The legalization. And I think it’s important for there to be a conversation between me and the owners about what our institutional position will be.
Look, there’s hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars being gambled illegally in the United States every year behind the curtains. It’s a big business. I’m one of the small time guys who takes part in this (Peter Carroll really took a shit on my bank account with that pass playcall from the one-yard line in the Super Bowl, thanks Peter).
While it invites a shady crowd to turn their eyes even more towards the national pastime, Manfred clearly realizes that if baseball supports legalized gambling, they can get a cut of the action which means more money for the sport. It’s smart business.
Based on my opinion only, I think you’re going to see legalized sports betting in every casino within every state in the United states in the next three to five years. And there’s really nothing wrong with it.
I don’t feel like going down to the casino in Columbus or Cincinnati and losing my ass at blackjack or roulette. Put a sports book in there where I can go bet $100 on an underdog baseball team on a Friday night, and you’ll get me there to gamble some money regularly. There’s really no reason why I should either have to: a) be in Las Vegas or b) have to illegally place a bet with a bookie or offshore online site to bet on baseball right now. If you’re going to allow poker and all that other shady gambling shit like Pai Gow or slot machines (rigged) right down the street from me, you should allow me to go bet on the Pirates when they’re +225.
I am happy the new commissioner has an eye towards the future and a savvy attitude towards this. Rob Manfred for Senator.