You might have a more kind view of Manfred than I do. I agree, they could certainly do both, but I don't see the merit in making format changes until they've exhausted or at least attempted a revamped marketing approach. To me the rule changes are more about Manfred "making his mark," or cashing in on a quick buck rather than advancing baseball.
I don't think about the commissioner hardly at all. I have no opinion.
I'm just talking from a state of the game view and I happen to strongly agree with Trevor.
Weather you agree with the rule changes or you don't. The rule changes are separate from the real issues that Bauer talks about.
The Blackout Rules: Are arcane and ridiculous. The rules PREVENT people from WATCHING the game. If you want to grow, restricting access is impossible to explain. I get it, the purpose is to protect the TV deal and they pay a lot of money for the broadcast rights but it's short term pennies sacrificing a longer term dollar. I'm amazed that they haven't figured out how to get out of this. People are cutting the cord, baseball can't change this. They can go down with cable or stop and think about it for a second... and then fix it. If people want to watch the game. LET THEM. The technology is there to watch a game in an elevator on your phone... get out of their way and let them. Be where the people are!!!! It's 2020 not 1960.
Highlights: A few years back, every night, I would go to bed and watch the highlights from every baseball game on my Ipad before I nodded off to sleep. The following year... a 15 second commercial was attached to every 15 second highlight. It was annoying enough that my highlight watching reduced to maybe a quarter of the highlights a couple of times a week. The year after that, no more access to them at all unless I paid for them. I can afford them but I refuse out of principle. Highlights are promotion. You don't pay for a movie trailer. If Trout robs a home run, it should be sent straight to my phone and it should interrupt my dinner while I watch it, if I choose. Get some people who understand social media and get the people who get in their way out of the way.
Personalized Cleats: Let players express themselves. Absolutely agree. Let them flip bats to the hearts desire without a ball in the back. Put some individuality, put some emotion into the game.
Marketing: Everybody knew who Babe Ruth was via Radio and Newspaper alone. If Babe Ruth was playing today he would be surpassed by the top athletes of almost every other sport. Baseball marketing hasn't advanced past Radio and Newspaper (add television) while generations of new ideas haven't been utilized. Baseball doesn't have a single player on the most popular list, Baseball doesn't have a single player on the most followed list.
But... it stands to reason... because they have been restricting access, squashing expression and personality for quite some time now.
Trevor Bauer is completely right.
However, playoff expansion has nothing to do with his rightness. It was just the vehicle that got him rolling down this particular road.