Orioles' draft pick Coby Mayo remembers shooting victims; Manfred needs to step up - BaltimoreBaseball.com

2020 MLB Draft

Orioles’ draft pick Coby Mayo remembers shooting victims; Manfred needs to step up

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

Coby Mayo, the Orioles’ fourth-round draft pick who has reportedly reached an agreement with the team for a $1.75 million bonus, is a graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

The 18-year-old Mayo, was a sophomore at the school on February 14, 2018 when a former student murdered 17 students and staff and wounded 17.

“That day was obviously is a day I’ll never forget,” Mayo said in a video conference call on Tuesday. “My community will always hurt from that. It will always be [in] recovery … I look back on it, and think, ‘I’m so lucky to be here today.’”

Mayo has used the tragedy as a motivator.

“Every single day, doing it for those ones that are lost. I play for those ones that are lost. I play for those because they can’t play. They don’t have voices.

“They couldn’t live [and do] what they wanted to do, and I can. Ever since I was a little kid, I knew I wanted to be a Major League Baseball player. Those people had dreams, too, and I want to fulfill their dreams by me fulfilling mine. The whole community needed something big to come out of it, and that’s what I wanted to do, and that’s what happened on June 11 when the Orioles selected me.”

He decided to pass on a scholarship offer from the University of Florida to begin his pro career.

“The University of Florida was my dream school since I was a little kid,” Mayo said. “I knew that pro ball would start my career much faster and get me where I wanted to be much faster. Major League Baseball nowadays is all about the young talent. I want to be a part of that.”

The Orioles have held Zoom calls with their first five draft picks, and each has been thoughtful.


Meanwhile, the Orioles signed two more undrafted free agents — Duke right-hander Thomas Girard and right-hander Isaiah Kearns from Pitt-Johnstown.

Adult in the room needed: Despite nearly every national baseball writer decrying the standoff between Major League Baseball and the Players Association, the dispute drags on.

The writers are speaking for the fans, who are disgusted with the economic war over the start of the season.

It would have been interesting to see what the owners’ reaction would have been if the players offered a token, say 5-to-10 percent, reduction in salary for a shortened season. I wonder if that would have been enough to enable commissioner Rob Manfred to make a deal.

The players have stuck to insisting on full play for games played instead of the reductions the owners want.

Even if there’s a settlement in the coming days, and games begin in mid-July, a schedule of 60 games won’t be satisfying, Even less satisfying would be a 48- or 54-game schedule that would begin late next month.

While debate rages on who’s right, the majority of fans just want to see the right thing done.

Ultimately, Manfred, who guaranteed a season on June 10 and then backtracked in another interview on Monday, is responsible.

Manfred has the authority to unilaterally set a schedule and needs to make a deal to avoid being blamed for the possible loss of a season.

His predecessor, Bud Selig, will forever be known as the commissioner who canceled the 1994 World Series even though in the last 20 years of his reign, labor peace prevailed.

For the first time since 1995, games have been lost because of a labor dispute, and Manfred must spend the rest of his term trying to live it down as well as avoid the widely predicted lockout after the end of the 2021 season.

Under Manfred’s leadership, MLB is likely to significantly cut the number of minor league baseball franchises, something that could damage baseball in Maryland.

Because of the pandemic, Zoom calls have replaced face-to-face negotiations, and you can’t help wondering if the impersonal nature of the talks has hurt.

Fans and the media have been able to follow every move because negotiations aren’t taking place. Plans have been leaked and statements released.

There needs to be an adult in the room, and Manfred needs to be it.

He can be happy that even in these rough economic times for our country and his sport that TBS will reportedly pay $470 million annually for television rights beginning in 2022.

With the owners complaining about losing money for fanless games, it’s not a good look for Manfred.

International signing period update: According to Baseball America, Major League Baseball has changed the international signing period, which was scheduled to begin on July 2 and run through June 15, 2021.

Instead, the period will begin January 15, 2021 and extend through December 15, 2021.

The Orioles will have $5,899,600 to sign international players.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB



  1. The Cartoon Bird

    June 17, 2020 at 8:40 am

    Manfred is at fault for backtracking from 100% certainly of a season to possibly no season at all. That insinuates at least 8 owners he represents not wanting a season at all. How do we know for certain the Orioles are not one of those 8 teams?

    • Rich Dubroff

      June 17, 2020 at 8:46 am

      Because John Angelos expressed optimism that the season would begin earlier this month on an ESPN radio
      interview, I will assume the Orioles are not one. Their generous credit plan also leads me to believe they’re not.

  2. The Cartoon Bird

    June 17, 2020 at 9:04 am

    Thank you Rich for your insight. I appreciate it. I hope too there is a season.

  3. Baltimore Castaway

    June 17, 2020 at 9:15 am

    Rob Manfred may be the most unlikeable MLB Commissioner in the last 100 years, and I thought that Bud (the Dud) Selig had that locked-up. It’s not surprising though. He has shown his underlying motives already in the way that he has stacked-the-deck against the Orioles in the MASN dispute.

    You are right that this is NOT a good-look for the MLB Owners to behave in such a manner. The Players Association isn’t looking too altruistic either..

    • Rich Dubroff

      June 17, 2020 at 9:45 am

      Castaway, the first commissioner, Judge Landis, made sure to keep baseball segregated, so I think he was the most unlikeable.

      Bowie Kuhn presided over the awful 1981 strike, and Selig has the 1994 World Series to his discredit.

      The commissioner works for the owners, and is never likely to be popular among fans.

      • Baltimore Castaway

        June 18, 2020 at 8:42 am

        Rich, I completely overlooked Bowie Kuhn… he goes to the head of that Class.

    • TxBirdFan

      June 17, 2020 at 10:54 am

      Not sure I blame Manfred for stepping back. The players had promised to re-negotiate in good faith if fans weren’t allowed at games yet all they’ve done is dig in their heels and indicate they will litigate if Manfred dictates a season. Why would he do that if he knows he’s going to be sued? The owners offered 70% salaries if they played 45% of the games which seems reasonable. Why haven’t the big money players like Trout and Machado stepped in to help out. It’s the fans and small salary players getting hurt by this.

    • ClayDal

      June 17, 2020 at 1:09 pm

      Just to be clear its75% of 45%. So the players would end up getting 31.5% of their full salary under that plan. The Commissioner has the right to open the camps and set the schedule to as many games as he sees fit. If the union feels management has not negotiated in good faith, they can file a grievance and let an arbitrator decide. Then the games can start and it could take several years before an arbitrator can decide if the players are owed any more money. Since I am not privy to the actual negotiations, I don’t take “sides” in these disputes. Every time there is one of these disputes there are the tired arguments “players make too much money” . Of course they do. So what a lot of people are overpaid. Adam Sandler makes 20 million a picture. Why? So I say let both sides fight it out and wake me up when they are ready to play.

    • TxBirdFan

      June 17, 2020 at 1:50 pm

      I misstated and agree with ClayDal on the salary component. Players agreed to prorate their salaries based on the # of games, and at the time it was assumed that fans would be allowed. Players won’t agree to further reduction if fans are not allowed which means the owners would absorb 100% of the loss from having no gate revenue or concessions. Adults should be able to figure this out.

    • ClayDal

      June 17, 2020 at 2:31 pm

      What I find disturbing is after the March “agreement” there doesn’t appear to be any negotiations until late May. It should have been obvious to both sides at least by the middle of April that fans wouldn’t be allowed. Both sides should have been discussing parameters of a settlement at that time. While the financial issues have been front and center, the health and safety issues haven’t been agreed on. Although they are a lot closer to agreement on that front. If they could agree on the finances the health stuff will fall in place. The underlying problem is that the players and owners have had a long time poisonous relationship. Issues like service time manipulation (Kris Bryant), tanking ( Cubs, Astros, Orioles) , the slow pace of signing free agents has made the players lose the trust of the owners. Hopefully an adult can be found. Send in Mike Bordick. Bordy would be a great mediator. After listening to him talk for an hour, they would reach agreement just to shut him up.

    • CalsPals

      June 17, 2020 at 4:32 pm

      A 5th grade math class could do it…lmao…this is insane…go O’s…

  4. VegasOriole

    June 17, 2020 at 11:18 am

    I’m optimistic for baseball to happen, I just can’t see a season not taking place. The owners know baseball is a dying sport, it would be CATASTROPHIC if the season didn’t go on. The fans that love this dying sport would leave in droves, and the possibilities of future revenue declines due to this would kill it. The owners know this, and maybe they might still have another round of negotiations left. Regardless, I will miss my annual trip to OPACY, cant wait till next year to catch a game(I’m not leaving, I love my O’s). Play ball!

  5. CalsPals

    June 17, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    I like Mayos idea that MLB is now “All about the young talent.” Just not sure the O’s agree, love to see it, not holding my breath…go O’s…

  6. dlgruber1

    June 17, 2020 at 4:49 pm

    I’m stunned at how tone deaf both sides are being at this moment. With everything that is going on in society for the past 3-4 months, the public is so looking forward to an outlet to find to simply bring some semblance of normalcy back to their lives, and baseball had, and still has, a chance to do that. That may be a big burden to put on them but I really believe they’d be thanked very much for doing it. Conversely, if they don’t come to an agreement and there is no season at all, I fear many fans will say to hell with them and be done with baseball. Time will tell.

  7. OriolesNumber1Fan

    June 17, 2020 at 5:34 pm

    TBS will reportedly pay $470 million annually for television rights beginning in 2022. That’s all nice and such, but divide that number up by the 30 teams and this is slightly over 15 1/2 million per team. Also, and I’m not 100 % sure on this, but teams wouldn’t get this money if there were no playoffs in any given year due to a lockout, strike or covid-19. And it certainly doesn’t make much of a dent in the majority of teams payroll numbers. Also, the Orioles have one of the youngest teams by average age (https://abc7news.com/sports/giants-have-oldest-team-in-mlb-padres-youngest/5225227/) contrary to some beliefs and it still wouldn’t make a huge dent in their payroll. It does help teams slightly don’t get me wrong, but without gate receipts and parking fees teams will lose millions. And on a different note, the Orioles are always being labelled as cheapskates and I was one of them during their recent playoff string when they didn’t go out and get a true ace number 1 starter, but they are paying all their minor league players through the end of the current season. Also read now that they are also refunding fans with 125% of the ticket prices they purchased through July. Really nice moves on their part. And to steal a line from a poster – “Go O’s”

  8. BirdsCaps

    June 17, 2020 at 8:12 pm

    I honestly haven’t followed the negotiations that closely, there are other issues going on that are more interesting. With that said, it is always a good idea to blame commissioner Manchild If this keeps up he will be remembered as the commissioner that made us long for the wonderful years of Bud Selig’s rule.

  9. OriolesNumber1Fan

    June 17, 2020 at 9:06 pm

    If the holdup of the MLB season is the number of games played which is the rumor. Then I may have the answer. Not what fans would want to see but a compromise between the owners and players. The latest as of today seems to be that the owners want 60 games tops so they could have their playoff system and the players want at least 89 which would push the season back further which could jeopardize the playoffs.

    My plan would be what the owners want but the final result would be what the players would want to see also. First thirty games would count as normal, 30 games. Then next thirty games would be played but counted as 2 each. Meaning every win would be counted as two and every loss would be counted as two as well. So, essentially the second half of the season, you would play 30 but count as 60 and the total number of games played for the season would be 90 games. There would be some drama as well where teams could do better after the break and come from no where and due to the scoring of games make a real run at the playoffs.

    The season would also end when the owners would want so they could potentially have the playoffs in there entirety.

    • BirdsCaps

      June 18, 2020 at 12:35 am

      I know this season isn’t going to be traditional, but counting games as 2 after 30 games isn’t fair. Slumps and injuries will kill deserving teams.

      • OriolesNumber1Fan

        June 18, 2020 at 7:01 am

        That’s the drama!!! NCAA has a 1 game tournament where teams with a great record sometimes get upset by a fringe team and it’s called the Final Four!!! Popularity of this Tournament is through the roof!

    • CalsPals

      June 18, 2020 at 10:52 am

      This is so aggravating, how about we meet in the middle somewhere, 70-75 games, full%, spring training starts next week, first games 2nd week of July, these idiots, both sides, need to get their together…go O’s…

  10. Bhoffman1

    June 20, 2020 at 11:46 am

    If it’s 75 per cent of 45 per cent then Chris Davis is still overpaid

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