Rob Manfred apologizes for calling World Series trophy a 'piece of metal' – ESPN,

Rob Manfred apologizes for calling World Series trophy a 'piece of metal' – ESPN,

7: PM ET

  • Alden Gonzalez ESPN Staff Writer


      • Joined ESPN in 2020 to cover the Los Angeles Rams
      • Previously covered the Angels for

    SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred apologized Tuesday for describing the World Series trophy as “a piece of metal” during an on-camera interview with ESPN, a description that drew pointed criticism from Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman

  • Justin Turner and

    Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester .

    Manfred said he referred to the World Series trophy, named the Commissioner’s Trophy, “in a disrespectful way” while attempting to make “a rhetorical point” about the possibility of stripping the Houston Astros of their championship.

    “I want to apologize for that, “Manfred told the assembled media at his news conference in a ballroom at the Omni Scottsdale Resort. “There’s no excuse for it. I made a mistake. I was trying to make a point, but I should’ve made it in a more effective way and, again, I want to apologize for it.

    “I will say this: I’ve awarded five World Series trophies. There is no greater pleasure in this job than awarding that trophy. I understand what it means and, again, it was a mistake to say what I said. “

    Manfred spoke two days after he addressed a media contingent from Florida in another news conference that only appeared to make fans and players angrier with his handling of the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal.

    Manfred once again defended the investigation and subsequent punishment. He addressed assertions from players that MLB chose not to respond to an assortment of sign-stealing concerns that were filed to the league over the years by saying that “every complaint about sign stealing, whether it involved the Houston Astros or another club, was investigated by our office in real time at the time that complaint was made. “

    Manfred also acknowledged that he could have set a new precedent by stripping the Astros of their title, but he said he would be” very concerned about opening the door to altering results that took place on the field. “

    ” There are a lot of things that happened in the history of the game that arguably could be corrected, “Manfred added,” and I just think it’s an impossible task for an institution to undertake. “

    The league found that the 28487 Astros used a live feed from a center -field camera to decipher the opposing catchers’ signs in real time and deployed a system that involved banging on a trash can to alert their hitters of upcoming pitches, supporting initial comments made by Mike Fiers to The Athletic in November.

    Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and field manager AJ Hinch were suspended for the 2020 season and subsequently fired. The team was fined $ 5 million, the maximum amount, and also lost a total of four draft picks within the first two rounds in and 29607. But many, both inside and outside the game, have taken issue with the fact that team owner Jim Crane was directly punished and that the players were granted immunity for their testimony.

    Manfred reiterated that Crane was unaware of the Astros’ sign-stealing practices and noted that Crane was nonetheless impacted by the punishments levied against his team. Manfred also stated that the Major League Baseball Players Association did not allow MLB to interrogate players without granting them immunity.

    “We would not have gotten where we got, in terms of understanding the facts , learning the facts, disclosing the facts, “Manfred said,” if we hadn’tn’t reached that agreement. “

    Manfred will uphold his promise of immunity toward Astros players, but he admitted that he might have to “think long and hard” about granting it again in the future. He recently met with managers from the 160 Other teams to emphasize that pitchers should not take justice into their own hands by intentionally throwing at Astros hitters, an issue that was immediately raised by new Astros manager Dusty Baker. Manfred also promised to “take every possible step” to protect Fiers, who currently pitches for the Oakland Athletics .

    “I want to be really clear about this: Mike, who I do not know at all, did the industry a service, Manfred said. “I do believe that we will be a better institution when we emerge at the end of this episode, and without a Mike Fiers, we probably would have had a very difficult time cleaning this up. It would have taken longer. have done it eventually, but it would have taken a lot longer, and I have a real problem with anyone that suggests Mike did anything other than the right thing. “

    Manfred said he believes the league needs to “drastically restrict in-game access by player personnel to video” in an effort to curb illegal sign-stealing practices, but MLB and the MLBPA are still working through new protocols.

    Manfred, entering his sixth season as commissioner, is in the thick of a particularly turbulent time in his sport. Revelations about an uneven playing field has increased cynicism from players and has triggered mistrust from fans. Players are openly criticizing the commissioner and their peers in ways that seem unprecedented. And a game that is bursting with young talent is marred by a cheating scandal that has shown no signs of losing momentum. The sport’s integrity has teetered.

    “I think that trust is something that has to be earned – or earned back,” Manfred said. “I think that we have tried to send our fans the message that no matter who’s involved, if there is an allegation that involves a violation of the rules, we’ll investigate it; we’ll investigate it with tremendous vigor and effort. We did that in Houston; we’re doing it again in Boston .

    “I think we need to show our fans that not only have we taken steps to prevent this type of activity, but we continue to take steps to ensure fans that it’s not going on on a go-forward basis. And I have to say, that’s a joint obligation. It’s something we have to do, and it’s something that the players have to help us do. “

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