Cooperstown, NY. Sources close to the office of Commissioner of Baseball Rob Manfred have learned that he will soon announce that the West division of the National League has been ousted from Major League Baseball and sent down to the minors. For the rest of the season, the five teams will operate as the Southwest League, Class AA.
Manfred's justification is that as the halfway point in the season approaches, four of the five teams - Rockies, Giants, Dodgers and Padres - were playing at a .500 or below average, while the division leader, the Arizona Diamondbacks, had a mediocre .520 percentage as of last weekend. "They're an embarrassment to organized baseball," he reportedly said.
Not since the era of Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis has any commissioner dared to assert such dictatorial power. Landis, who governed baseball with an iron fist from 1920-1944, was given the power to rule by decree when he accepted the post, following the Black Sox scandal. After Landis, league owners carefully avoided bestowing such power on his successors.
Owners as well as players have expressed dismay at the proposed ouster of the West from MLB. A former Colorado manager tweeted: "Who does he think he is, Donald Trump?" A San Francisco Giant, who remained anonymous, said: "We've won three world series in this decade and he wants to throw us to the dogs?" Tom Lasorda, who led the Dodgers to their last World Series championship, pointed out that this L . A. team was in the series last fall, forcing the Astros to go seven games. "This ain't no minor league club," he said, angrily.
Rumor has it that five teams from either the International League or the Mexican League will be asked to take over the remaining schedule of the clubs they would replace.