Manfred Fails Hurricane Harvey Crisis

Manfred was a weak leader in the Houston-Texas hurricane impacted series.


For those who think a sports commissioner has real power, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred showed he was almost powerless in what was his first real crisis. Manfred failed to persuade his bosses, the Texas Rangers ownership to switch what really is not important series of games between the Texas Rangers and the Houston Astros from Hurricane Harvey ravaged Houston to the Rangers stadium in Arlington, Texas. Whatever reason that Texas Rangers management had for saying no, it fails. If the there is such a thing as the best interests of baseball clause that a commissioner could invoke, there was not a more perfect time for Manfred to use his power. But Manfred didn’t and no matter how much money baseball is collecting for Hurricane Harvey survivors under Manfred’s watch, Manfred has failed in the moral turpitude test.


The Texas Rangers organization did say they would host Houston during the hurricane but would not swap out dates, Texas is scheduled to travel Houston in the waning days of the season, the Rangers management had some feeble excuse. Manfred could have made the call. He didn’t. Instead the series was moved to St. Petersburg, Florida. The Texas Rangers ownership plays in a municipality funded stadium and there is a new stadium on the way in Arlington that taxpayers will be helping to pay down the debt. In a real emergency, Arlington’s elected officials should have said, listen our taxpayers happen to also be Texas residents who are helping you along and have for decades. In the best interest of the state of Texas while bodies are being found and rescue efforts are taking place and it is not asking too much of you, to help out by having three games in a ballpark which is municipally owned. In the end, baseball is a mere ripple in an ocean not an end all. Manfred failed.


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The Rangers organization certainly did not put the common good over the organization’s important needs.