Major League Baseball has been in an odd state since commissioner Rob Manfred took over as the sport’s head man in 2015, and since then has been at the forefront of multiple controversial moments.
Aside from the 2020 shortened season negotiations, and the MLB lockout prior to the 2022 season, perhaps his most criticized decision came from his action, or inaction surrounding the Houston Astros cheating scandal after the 2017 World Series. He didn’t believe it was in the commissioner’s powers to vacate a title, or to alter the outcome of the Fall Classic, just as the Astros did.
Manfred, whether it was because he wanted the matter done with, or out of sheer frustration, lowered the value of the World Series trophy, calling it ‘a piece of metal’, but to fans, players, and those around baseball understand it’s more than that. he spoke on the matter earlier this season, calling his comments a hefty regret, via Don Van Natta Jr. of ESPN:
“It was stupid,” he says of his now-infamous comment in February 2020 that it made no sense to confiscate the team’s World Series trophy because, after all, it’s just “a piece of metal.” Two days later, he apologized. Now, he’s telling me: “The piece of metal thing — the worst.”
Manfred’s actions towards baseball and how to liven the game up haven’t worked out to this point, but the Astros scandal looms over his head, and he wants to move past the words that made him feel instant remorse.
“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. I want to apologize for it. I’ve awarded five World Series trophies.
“There is not 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.”
However, baseball is seemingly in a decent place with ratings and young stars, but with rule changes on the horizon for 2023, things could change sooner than later.
MLB qualifying offer set at $19.65 million
MLB recently announced that the qualifying offer for the 2023 season is set at $19.65 million. This can be offered to impending free agents just once throughout their career, serving as an inflated one year deal to stay with their previous team.