Rob Manfred made a statement that no one involved with the MLB should ever say, let alone the commissioner of the league. He described the World Series trophy as, "a piece of metal". That's correct, he described the trophy that every team, fanbase, and organization strive for...a piece of metal. He made the statement when discussing the Astros lack of punishment for their cheating scandal. Here's the full quote.
“The idea of an asterisk or asking for a piece of metal back seems like a futile act. People will always know that something was different about the 2017 season, and whether we made that decision right or wrong, we undertook a thorough investigation, and had the intestinal fortitude to share the results of that investigation, even when those results were not very pretty.”
Well Rob, it's not just a piece of metal. The "Commissioners Trophy", which should be renamed at this point, has been around since 1967. It has been apart of the MLB for over 50 years. Tiffany's makes the trophy and values it at $19,000 dollars. That is no simple piece of metal. In fact, it is one of the more intricate trophies throughout all of sports in general. The trophy weighs about 30 pounds, has 30 gold plated flags representing each team, and has a silver baseball on it. Of course, the comments that were made didn't rub people the wrong way because of the physical trophy. It's because of what the trophy represents.
If it were just a piece of metal, do you think Yankee fans would pump their chests every time the number of team titles is brought up? Would Red Sox and Cubs fans have been believers in curses of the Bambino and Billy Goat? The answer is no, because it isn't a piece of metal to the teams and fanbases. It is a representation of the hard work, injuries, ups and downs of the season, and everything else it took to get to that moment. The moment that every single player dreams of having once they make it to the big leagues. Holding up that trophy and proudly displaying all the blood, sweat, and tears it took to get there.
Some players were asked about the comments. Sean Doolittle who had just won the title with the Nationals said, "It bothered me, man. I hated it. It made him sound really out of touch. That's the holy grail of our sport. That's what we show up for in the beginning of February, thinking about and working towards."
Justin Turner who is on the Dodgers, the team many feel were robbed the most in this whole ordeal said, "For him to devalue it 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."
They are both right, the commissioner is out of touch if this is how he feels about the one thing all 30 teams are fighting for year after year.
Sitting in a room and telling the league and it's fans that what the Astros did doesn't deserve to have the trophy taken away is ridiculous. They get to continue to display that trophy for the fans and act like it was 100% deserved. It wasn't. The Astros cheated and their players admitted it, but somehow only a manager and GM faced the consequences. If you're wondering why the media circus surrounding the issue hasn't gone away Rob, well, it's simple. You haven't taken away the thing that so many people care about. The thing so many people want. That stupid piece of metal. Take that away and then maybe the noise settles. It may get louder in Houston, but it will disappear from other areas.
In the end though, it was another swing and miss by a commissioner who has struck out a lot this off season.