With pitchers and catchers reporting last week, and full squad practices beginning, 2020’s Spring Training is in full swing. Thankfully, most if not all of the free agent signings have already been handled. However, most of the drama continues to revolve around the Houston Astros and MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred. Yesterday, on 2/18, Manfred held a second news conference addressing prior comments he had made about the Astros punishment and the 2020 season.
Manfred stated that from the findings of the investigation, evidence pointed to the Astros continuing to do the trash can banging into the 2017 playoffs, which contradicts what many Astros players have said to the media. This is a very bad look for all parties involved.
Manfred was also under fire after referring to the World Series trophy as a “hunk of metal”, making many players including Dodgers 3B Justin Turner irate. It seems that Manfred does not understand the magnitude of the journey it takes to win the World Series while playing the game fair. Instead he chose to defend his stance in not punishing the Astros players after it was stated numerous times in the report that the scheme was player driven.
There have been many players across the league who have strongly voiced their opinions on the matter, including Braves OF Nick Markakis, and to the surprise of many, Angels OF Mike Trout. Trout said that he has “lost respect” for many of the Astros players, and also said that “it would be pretty fun” if he knew what pitches were coming.
It will be interesting to see how the season unfolds for the Astros, however it seems that they and the MLB continue to dig themselves into a bigger hole every time they speak.