The Yankees started it, and it’s looking like MLB players will end it. Rob Manfred, there is a full-blown civil war underway, and only you can fix it.
A retiring Yankees pitcher, CC Sabathia, began the crusade to punish the cheating Houston Astros more than a month ago when he declared on a podcast:
“F–king ’17, we should have won the World Series,” Sabathia said during an episode of his R2C2 podcast with Ryan Ruocco. “I don’t care what nobody says.
Yankees fans and all of Sabathia’s teammates gathered around in support of a future Hall of Famer who would never have the chance to redeem himself on the field again.
But then a funny thing happened, and it seemed like the more the Yankees got to thinking about it, the more they realized they were just as angry as Sabathia.
Yankees Growing Crescendo Reaches Beyond
So, each day it was this player and then that Yankees player who voiced their objections to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred’s stance that Houston Astro players are immune from punishment and penalties he would later levy.
Protests extended up to the highest level of the Yankees organization.
Breaking the mold, Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner saw fit to say, “When the report came out, I was as upset as anyone.”
Yankees General Manager, Brian Cashman also in a rare public display, felt comfortable in telling ESPN reporter Buster Olney, “The Houston Astros were dealing with a distinct advantage more than their opponents. That’s a fact”.
Actually, it is a fact, and more and more major league ballplayers are gathering into camps in an unusual and potentially damaging way to baseball and the very mouths that feed them – MLB fans.
And Lo And Behold Here Comes Mike Trout
Because you don’t have to look very far to find the best player in the game today making, for him, an unprecedented statement.
THE Mike Trout says that “I lost some respect for some of the guys. “It’s not good for baseball, and it’s sad to see.”
Whoa. This is not the Yankees or the Dodgers protesting. This is the same mega-All Star Commissioner Rob Manfred urged to come forward as a positive influence and representative of our National Pastime?
Yup, it is, and this is the extent to which the battle is waging between players who believe that as a minimum, the Houston Astros should be stripped of the two World Series titles they “won” and that the Commissioner declared “piece of metal” trophy be returned.
This is unprecedented. The unwritten code among major-league ballplayers, much like we see in law enforcement is to protect the brethren – until facts prove it is useless to do do.
The message to Rob Manfred should be he is no longer dealing with protests emanating from the Yankees and Dodgers, the two primary victims in the Astros cheating program.
Though not necessarily in defense of the Yankees and Dodgers, nevertheless across the spectrum of MLB players, there is widespread anger directed toward Astros players that is yet to be addressed by the Commissioner.
This Is Big, Rob. Are You Up To it?
Rob Manfred, I’m afraid, does not appear to be Abe Lincoln, who was charged with holding the union together amid an ongoing crisis.
As often happens in a battle of wills, the first move fractures the outcome in irreversible ways.
And so, at this juncture, Manfred cannot renege on his promise to keep testifying Astros players immune from the judicial process.
Justifiable grievances would flood the walls of MLB headquarters from Astros players, leaving them “in the middle” of a situation the Player’s Association would not wish to deal with.
Yankees And Dodgers – It’s Only A Piece Of Metal
Will the Yankees and Dodgers be appeased if Manfred strips the Astros of the (two) titles “earned” during the questionable period from 2017 to 2019?
And further, that those “pieces of metal” be returned, and subsequently placed in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown as a reminder to all visitors – this is the modern-day version of the Chicago Black Sox?
We cannot know at the moment. All we know is the drumbeat is getting louder while the Commissioner stands idle.
This is no longer the whining of Yankees players saying they “was” robbed.
This is bigger and more pronounced, especially when the Lou Gehrig of baseball, Mike Trout, today calls attention to a wrong needing correction.
When the bell rings for the Yankees on Opening Day, it’s business as usual, and the only game that matters is the one played today.
For Rob Manfred, though, he has the balance of major league baseball in his hands. And somewhere along the line, he needs to correct what is clearly a wrong – as best as a mortal human being can.