Washington Nationals: Rob Manfred oblivious in latest comments
Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer is one man you don’t want to mess with. Whether you are in the batter’s box trying to hit the guy, or standing on top of the opposing dugout yelling obscenities in his general direction. I am not even sure baseball commissioner Rob Manfred wants anything to do with Max. His latest comments seem to suggest as much anyway.
First off, how does a major sport change it’s rules mid-season. Reminds me of when I’m playing badminton with my son and whooping up on him. He wants to change the line he serves from, call a redo when he hits it into the net, or say a missed serve doesn’t count. Is this what Major League Baseball has become? Backyard badminton?
So teams weren’t scoring any runs (Nationals fans can attest to this) and players are striking out too often, time to start enforcing rules we have looked the other way on for years. Enter, foreign substance checks.
Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred has head in the sand in regards to Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer.
"“My view is the first two days have gone very well. We’ve had no ejections (for foreign substances), players in general have been extremely cooperative, the inspections have taken place quickly and between innings. Frankly, the data suggests that we are making progress with respect to the issues (in spin rate) that caused us to undertake the effort in the first place. I understand the incident in Philadelphia was less than ideal, but that was one incident. And we expect that we will continue, as the vast majority of cases so far, without that kind of incident."
This is what Rob Manfred had to say about the implementation of inspections. Take place quickly and in between innings? Max was checked three times in four innings, once in the middle of his pitching. Incident in Philly less than ideal? Scherzer, a Hall of Fame pitcher, was accosted on the mound, and about stripped down to prove his innocence.
Players in general have been extremely cooperative. They have. Max was cooperative. Sergio Romo was cooperative. They were just willing to go the extra mile to appease the league and help the umpires out with their inspections.
Scherzer was correct in calling these “Manfred Rules”, and the shame is the players have to go through the daily inspections and answer the questions afterwards. The umpires have to conduct the inspections and play the role of “gotcha” instead of just calling a game.
In sheer numbers I guess there haven’t been confrontations with umpires on the inspections in large quantities. Manfred’s comments though show a highly respected individual’s actions don’t carry any weight. For that, he is mistaken. In his eyes the rollout has been a success. In the eyes of the fans, a debacle.