David Wells and I have something important in common. Neither Wells, a 211-game winning pitcher for the New York Yankees, San Diego Padres and seven other teams, nor I watch baseball now.

Witless Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred decreed on April 2 that the All-Star Game be pulled out of Atlanta. This was his ill-advised protest against a Georgia voting reform law he incorrectly perceives as racist. Now millions of fans have sadly turned their backs on the national pastime.

Wells spoke for many like-minded fans when he said, “For me to not want to go to a baseball game, or even watch it, it kills me, because I don’t put up with that kind of crap (using baseball to make a political statement) and I don’t condone it.”

My thoughts exactly.

I’m a seven-decades-plus fan who today couldn’t tell you who won last night, who’s playing today or who’s leading the league in home runs.

Manfred is weak, a coward who may go down in baseball history as the sports’ most reviled figure. Pressured by left-wing advocates to take the game away from Georgia, he demonstrated how spineless he truly is.

The commissioner’s office is top-heavy with lawyers, and Manfred has instant access to a boatload of outside counsel. A savvier Manfred would have asked one of the dozens of lawyers at his beck and call to review the Georgia legislation, compare it to what its critics were saying, and make a measured determination.

Manfred, himself a Harvard Law School graduate, would have no trouble separating fact from fiction, and should have rejected the woke mob that wants to eliminate voter ID at Georgia’s ballot box.

But, as we now sadly know, that’s not what happened. Manfred’s knee-jerk reaction alienated millions of baseball fans who, like Wells, have spent most of their lives as passionate baseball devotees — collecting cards, playing Little League, admiring their favorite superstars, listening on transistor radios, watching televised games, devouring early morning box scores and even buying the cheap made-in-China merchandise with their favorite team’s logo.

Wells’ fandom was so intense that in 1997 he purchased an authentic Babe Ruth game-worn cap, and donned it during a regular season game. Good-guy Wells bought Ruth’s cap for $35,000, and 15 years later auctioned it off for $235,000; the proceeds paid for upgrades at his Point Loma High School in San Diego.

Payback may be looming for Manfred. Now that the ugly reality of his action has set in, fans have reacted strongly. A national poll found that baseball, the most popular major sport in earlier polls, has dropped to 12 points among Republicans from 47 points, and is less favorably perceived than the NFL and the NHL, but slightly ahead of the clueless, wide-awake NBA.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, along with his fellow Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Josh Hawley, R-Mo., demanded an end to professional baseball’s century-old antitrust exemption that has helped owners create a multibillion-dollar industry, and line their own pockets with exorbitant salaries.

One of the greatest mysteries in the All-Star Game fiasco is how Manfred misread the American body politic so totally. Look at the 2020 presidential election, the Senate and the House of Representatives — all basically 50-50. Yet Manfred, more woke than wise, plunged into dark and murky water to alienate half of his customer base.

The elitist, bean-counting Manfred is the 10th and least deserving baseball commissioner of the exalted title.

Fay Vincent, who served as commissioner from 1989-1992, took Manfred to the woodshed, and warned against baseball becoming a weapon in the culture wars, or a hostage for a single political party or ideology.

His parting advice to Manfred: “Baseball must always stand above politics and its dark elements of corruption, greed and sordid selfishness. It can’t go wrong by standing for national greatness.”

Unfortunately, unlike Vincent and the revered A. Bartlett Giamatti, Manfred’s legacy will be that he caved in early to the mob.

Without giving MLB players the voice they deserved to have, Manfred abruptly transferred the All-Star Game to Colorado, a state with more restrictive voting laws than Georgia’s.

Baseball fans must not despair. The College World Series is right around the corner.

The young players are fundamentally sounder than their big-league counterparts — the pitchers throw 90 mph+, the fielders go deep to turn hits into outs, and the batters lay down perfect bunts. Put the kids in a Chicago Cubs uniform, and few could tell that they’re not the world’s best players.

During the summer months, amateur baseball will be played all across America. The woke can have MLB, but give me the Little League.

— Joe Guzzardi is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research and the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America who now lives in Pittsburgh. He can be reached at guzzjoe@yahoo.com, or follow him on Twitter: @joeguzzardi19. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

Joe Guzzardi is an Institute for Sound Public Policy analyst who has written about immigration for more than 30 years. A California native who now lives in Pittsburgh, he can be reached at jguzzardi@ifspp.org. The opinions expressed are his own.