Rob Manfred apologizes for trivializing World Series trophy as ‘piece of metal’
Rob Manfred on Tuesday apologized for trivializing the Commissioner’s Trophy, which is given to the World Series winner, in a previous interview.
Manfred went on a publicity tour Sunday to try mitigating the damage over the Houston Astros cheating scandal. He seemingly only made things worse in many regards due to his comments.
Some of the biggest criticism came from Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Justin Turner, whose team lost to the Astros in the 2017 World Series, when Houston was confirmed to have been cheating.
Turner was upset that Manfred downplayed the importance of the World Series trophy by calling it a “piece of metal” in an interview with ESPN’s Karl Ravech.
Turner on Manfred referring to World Series trophy as a piece of metal: "For him to devalue it the way he did yesterday just tells me how out of touch he is with the players in this game. At this point the only thing devaluing that trophy is that it says 'commissioner' on it."
— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) February 17, 2020
Manfred acknowledged his error on Tuesday and called his terminology a “mistake”.
Rob Manfred: "In an effort to make a rhetorical point I referred to the World Series trophy in a disrespectful way. … It was a mistake to say what I said."
— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) February 18, 2020
That was a very poor choice of words from Manfred.
At first, I did not agree with the idea of stripping the Astros of the World Series or giving them an asterisk because I don’t really believe in titles being vacated, like in the NCAA, for rule breaking. My logic has always been that it’s hard to undo history, and people know who won something on the field.
However, as more information has come out, such as Houston being confirmed by MLB to have cheated in the 2017 postseason and using a codebreaking algorithm, my mind has changed. Like Yu Darvish pointed out, the Olympics strip winners of medals if they are found to have been cheating. These aren’t rumors or reports of allegations anymore; these are confirmed facts. The Astros cheated, had an unfair advantage over their competition, and that helped them win. Their World Series should be vacated, and they should be given an asterisk to note that it was taken away because they cheated. That message is an important one to send to the sport, the players and all the fans. The extreme backlash caused by this scandal seems to show many feel this way.