A long line of MLB players have expressed their displeasure with the punishments handed down to the Houston Astros in the cheating scandal that has consumed the last three months of baseball. Many have said the Astros’ apologies rang hollow or commissioner Rob Manfred didn’t do enough to punish them.
But Los Angeles Dodgers star Justin Turner is taking bigger swings than most players.
Turner unloaded Monday on Manfred, dropping perhaps the biggest haymaker on the commissioner that we’ve seen in recent memory. He told reporters:
"For him to devalue [the World Series trophy] 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."
This was in reference to Manfred’s press conference Sunday, at which he talked about whether he had considered stripping the Astros of their title. He told reporters:
"The idea of an asterisk or asking for a piece of metal back seems like a futile act. People will always know something was different about the 2017 season.”
Turner’s retort is a strong one — it would play in an online flame war or a rap battle or bar room brawl. This Astros scandal has turned into some combination of the three, with a steady back-and-forth of players ripping the Astros, the Astros responding and the cycle continuing. As more players report to spring training, it’s only gotten worse.
It’s clear the players aren’t happy with the handling of the Astros scandal – and other recent things that happened on Manfred’s watch. Trevor Bauer, for instance, recently ripped him in a YouTube video over the proposed playoff changes.
It’ll be curious to see whether MLB lets these types of digs at the commissioner slide, or if Turner, Bauer and others will be fined for speaking their mind. MLB is a whole new world these days, with players ditching their cliched niceties and letting their true feelings fly. If a player were to get fined for dissing the commish, it might just make more people speak out.
It’s a fascinating time to be a baseball fan, that’s for sure.
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