The Astros are the heels of the sport, for good reason, but now having MLB commissioner Rob Manfred stand up there and saying the Astros and Red Sox are the only teams being investigated is short-sighted. Red Sox verdict is due at the end of the following week, not this coming week.
Fans and former players are mad about this entire situation. The public relations end of this has been handled poorly and this subject will drag on because there’s no closure. After all, public opinion is the “cheating players” skated and MLB thinks they paid a big price. That’s the divide that’s growing here.
If I was a father right now, it would be hard to explain what happened and to say the punishment was just. I wouldn’t be able to do it.
The players will police the sport and MLB trying to control the possible in-game retaliation will be overlooked by some players, mark my words. MLB says there will be strict repercussions just means lesser players will do the beaning.
I predict a further attendance drop in baseball this season. I envision this subject coming up on non-traditional outlets for weeks and through Opening Day.
Owners can fire the commissioner, not the fans. So, don’t expect that happening anytime soon.
So where are we at? Players like Carlos Correa will act indignant, even though he was a part of it. The league isn’t looking into the Altuve shirt scandal without further evidence. If the evidence doesn’t fall into their laps, that part is over. Manfred admitted the players broke the rules and he’s moving past it because he didn’t have all the facts without granting immunity. That seems completely absurd since it’s their sport, but it shows the continued strength of the MLBPA, to their credit.
Mike Fiers is a hero and he made this happen. He tried to clean up the game. Without him, nothing would have happened.
Manfred talked about the minor league baseball contraction and it seems like it’s going to happen. He’s citing the bad facilities, etc, so that’s that. Expect that memo down the road.
This will be a tough season for the sport. People are mad because they care. Americans will always care about baseball no matter how much chatter you hear to the contrary.
One more note, Manfred isn’t worried about the Orioles attendance, why? Corporate support. The gate isn’t as important in MLB as it used to be.
photo by del Tufo