On Tuesday, with MLB’s game cancellation deadline approaching, the league submitted to the Players Association a best-and-final offer. Predictably, the offer fell short of expectations, and the union declined. Commissioner Rob Manfred responded by cancelling the first two series of the 2022 season.
Shortly after, players began voicing their displeasure with Manfred and MLB for negotiating in bad faith and imposing unnecessary deadlines. Los Angeles Angels superstar Mike Trout — as well as pitchers Noah Syndergaard and Michael Lorenzen — took to Twitter to do the same.
Trout, often known for his quiet demeanor, did not hold back in a short, but biting message directed at Manfred. He posted the statement to Twitter and Facebook on Wednesday morning:
Regarding The MLB Lockout: pic.twitter.com/QQUC1pWr5F
— Mike Trout (@MikeTrout) March 2, 2022
While a number of players have criticized Manfred throughout this process, very few will have the impact that Trout has. Trout is not only MLB’s best player, but he’s someone who garners attention and respect on the rare occasion he chooses to speak out.
Trout rightfully bashed Manfred for cancelling games without reason and bargaining in bad faith. Remember, it was Manfred who once controversially criticized Trout for his lack of marketability as a superstar.
Syndergaard and Lorenzen took a different — but equally important — approach to their social media presence. Syndergaard used Twitter to make a joke at Manfred’s expense, while Lorenzen criticized Manfred’s demeanor at his Tuesday press conference.
"Why don't you just go HOME? That's your HOME! ANSWER ME!!!!" https://t.co/isjNQOkxrn
— Noah Syndergaard (@Noahsyndergaard) March 1, 2022
Have no clue how he has the ability to laugh about anything right now. Mind is blown. pic.twitter.com/xxwHnF9cUW
— Michael Lorenzen (@Lorenzen55) March 1, 2022
Syndergaard and Lorenzen are both MLB veterans whose voices carry weight in league circles. However, perhaps no one has the opportunity to impact these negotiations more than Trout.
Jared Walsh is the current union representative for the Angels. However, it’s Trout that could absolutely flip the CBA talks on its head if he chose to get involved in a serious way. Just one tweet and Facebook post could put enough pressure on the league to act quicker.
We’ll see in the coming days what the next steps are for MLB and the Players Association. But it’s now known that Trout is watching closely and is not afraid to say what he feels about the subject.
MLBPA releases statement on cancellations
Shortly after Manfred’s press conference in Jupiter, Florida, the MLBPA released a statement condemning the decision and expressing disappointment in the league for their handling of negotiations. “Rob Manfred and MLB’s owners have cancelled the start of the season. Players and fans around the world who love baseball are disgusted, but sadly not surprised,” the union said in a statement.