MLB Network: Happy talk about the national pastime, all the time. But.

The league’s media arm executed the “or else” recently by failing to renew network whistleblower Ken Rosenthal’s contract. Your offense? According to Andrew Marchand of the York Post, he wrote half-hearted words about MLB commissioner Rob Manfred on the pages of one of Rosenthal’s other employers, The Athletic, during the 2020 COVID-related labor battle.

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Rosenthal, a former Sporting News MLB member, confirmed Monday night that he was out.

“I have always strived to maintain my journalistic integrity and my work reflects that,” he wrote on Twitter.

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Rosenthal got his start in the newspaper business, covering the Orioles for The Baltimore Sun and later rising to columnist there. You will be critical when you think it is justified.

Speaking as someone who has edited the Rosenthal copy and content produced by MLB reporters in the past, the league’s media properties are not “critical.” MLB Network demonstrated with Rosenthal that deviating from that mindset has consequences. Sources told Marchand that the network took Rosenthal off the air for several months because of what he wrote about Manfred:

“Manfred and the owners need to figure it out, and fast,” Rosenthal wrote for The Athletic. “Most owners will be in the game longer than most players, allowing them to eventually recoup their 2020 losses and then benefit from the resale values ​​of their franchise. Meanwhile, Manfred is supposed to be the one. adult in the room, a leader with a sense of the place of the game in our society, the guardian of sport.

“If you screw this up, it will define you. That should be enough of an incentive for you to come to terms, period.”

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MLB didn’t say goodbye to Rosenthal in the statement it provided to Marchand on Monday:

“As the MLB Network continues to seek new ways to bring baseball to our viewers, there is a natural shift in our talent roster that takes place each year. Ken played a significant role on the MLB Network for the past 13 years. Since From spring training to winter meetings, we thank him for his work in scheduling MLB Network studies, games, and events, and we wish him well in the future. “

To be clear, the other league-owned networks and websites are also not in the business of providing unbiased coverage. That is the nature of being promotional, rather than probing. MLB is more open about it.

This movement proves it.