The Business Of Major League Baseball Goes On And On

If the money people leave, then there is a problem.

If you really want to know if there is any damage to the business of Major League Baseball because of the Houston Astros sign stealing caper, all you have to do is follow the money. The evidence suggests so far no. It is business as usual. Sure, some fans complained. An ESPN baseball analyst, who happened to be a New York Mets advisor, Jessica Mendoza and Hall of Fame pitcher and MLB Network analyst Pedro Martinez did not like that a former Houston player Mike Fiers told the Athletic about the sign stealing operation and that some clubhouse rule was violated as the player snitched. More troubling is how Disney-ESPN could employ Mendoza and allow her to be a New York Mets advisor. That is a blatant journalistic conflict of interest. But the business of MLB goes on. In Milwaukee, a beer company who is the Brewers stadium naming rights partner isn’t renewing the deal. The beer company’s name will be replaced with a Wisconsin insurance company’s moniker in 2021.

While there was an ongoing investigation into the stealing of signs plot, the Milwaukee Brewers franchise ownership group was looking for a new stadium rights partner. The beer company that held the marketing partnership decided being the stadium’s title sponsor just was not working out anymore. Brewers ownership could have faced a problem if Major League Baseball was indeed tainted by the Houston sign stealing scheme. But that was not to be the case. The big money people don’t have a problem with what Houston and subsequently the Boston baseball operation people did, sign stealing, and they are still pouring money into the industry. The Brewers spring training facility in Phoenix, Arizona will also get the insurance company name on the building. Money people still like Major League Baseball.

FILE – In this July 2, 2019, file photo, Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch reacts during a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, in Denver. Houston manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were suspended for the entire season Monday, Jan. 13, 2020, and the team was fined $5 million for sign-stealing by the team in 2017 and 2018 season. Commissioner Rob Manfred announced the discipline and strongly hinted that current Boston manager Alex Cora — the Astros bench coach in 2017 — will face punishment later. Manfred said Cora developed the sign-stealing system used by the Astros. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)