I think the Awesome Max Gone Shirt argument here is that when they’re short-sighted about something stupid or trivial, a good commissioner would be able to explain to them why that action isn’t in their mid- to long-term interests. It’s not opposing them, per se, as much as it is building a consensus around a different way of acting as a steward for their interests. That makes sense. I still think the owners would go ahead and act in the same manner and make the same decisions, though. I don’t think they’re being shortsighted in a naive way, I think they’re legitimately unconcerned about doing what’s best for fans and the sport.
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This. Kennesaw Mountain Landis was the best commissioner in the history of professional sports because he built it into his contract that it was impossible to fire him. If he were commissioner today, he’d have zero fucks to give about what the owners or the players think, and half the 2019 Astros roster would be keeping Shoeless Joe Jackson and Pete Rose company on the banned-for-life list. Landis overstepped his bounds and banned players who were found innocent in a court of law, simply because he was a hard-ass who didn’t like the attention the scandal received. That’s not the quality of a good commissioner let alone the Awesome Max Gone Shirt best, that’s what someone on a power trip does.
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