Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred held a press conference Tuesday in his first public remarks since describing the World Series trophy as a “piece of metal,” which he apologized for.
“I had a long day on Sunday. I think I did 45 minutes on camera and then I did the press conference,” Manfred began. “I have to say I made one mistake, at least, during that long day. That was in an effort to make a rhetorical point, I referred to the World Series trophy in a disrespectful way, and I want to apologize for that.
“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.”
Manfred’s remark came during an interview with ESPN’s Karl Ravech and part of his answer to explain why the Houston Astros were not stripped of the title. Manfred’s interview further exacerbated a situation that seemingly has grown more contentious with each passing day.
“I was trying to kind of diffuse and move forward, but the more that’s come out and the more that’s being said, the more frustrating it gets for us,” Justin Turner said Monday.
“I know Cody (Bellinger) had his comments and he got off his chest what he had to say. I think he had every right to say what he said. I think a lot of players around the league are feeling the same way. I know every guy in this clubhouse supports him and what he said.
“It’s snowballing, I think it’s pretty obvious that whatever the commissioner thought he did, he didn’t do it very well. I think it all comes down to everyone keeps saying, ‘The facts, the facts. You don’t know the facts. These are the facts.’
“I don’t think anyone knows the facts. I think everyone just wants to hear all the facts. I think the commissioner didn’t do a good job of revealing all the facts to us. I still think there’s some stuff that maybe we don’t know.”
Manfred argued the humility Astros players are facing carried more weight than revoking their championship, which led to his description of the trophy as metal. The casual view of the trophy particularly upset Turner.
“I mean, I don’t know if the commissioner has ever won anything in his life,” he said. “Maybe he hasn’t. But the reason all the guys in this room, the reason every guy is working out all offseason and showing up to camp early and putting in all the time and effort, is specifically for that trophy. Which, by the way, is called the commissioner’s trophy.
“So, for him to devalue it the way he did, it 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 it says ‘commissioner’ on it.”
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