At some point, you really have to begin to wonder what exactly Commissioner Rob Manfred is doing. While Atlanta Braves General Manager Alex Anthopolous is fanning the flames of the already tense situation with the Player’s Association by heavily alluded to collusion, his sport has been embarrassing itself left and right.
The first bit of huge news yesterday was Mike Fiers admitted the World Series Champion 2017 Houston Astros cheated by stealing signs with a camera and relaying those signs using different sounds. One of those sounds were whistles like the allegations we heard from the New York Yankees this past postseason. At the time, AJ Hinch mocked those making the accusations, but apparently where they was smoke, there is now Fiers.
This isn’t the first time the Astros were accused of cheating. Based on how they operate their team, it won’t be the last. What is really interesting is Major League Baseball purportedly did investigating into those accusations, and each time they made no public statements of wrongdoing.
This would say either MLB was unable to uncover something, or perhaps, they didn’t want to announce what they discovered. It’s not a cover-up per se, but it does have an air to it.
Now, their World Series title does seem a bit tainted. That’s a real shame for players like Justin Verlander who finally got over the hump with that Astros team and for Mets manager Carlos Beltran, who got that elusive World Series ring in his final ever game. For what it’s worth, Beltran denied the accusations.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the San Francisco Giants hired Gabe Kapler as their new manager.
Keep in mind, while Kapler was fired from the Phillies for being a bad manager, it is much worse than that. This is the same Kapler who is part of an FBI investigation regarding what is alleged to be criminal actions involved with the recruitment of international teenage free agents. At the time, Kapler was the Director of Player Development.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, Nick Francona spoke with Sports Illustrated about Kapler’s involvement in trying to cover-up sexual assault allegations against Dodgers prospects on multiple occasions. There were other issues including stalking allegations. Each time, Kapler and the Dodgers tried to cover it up (successfully), and quite notably, on one occasion, Kapler actually met with the victim’s family.
Keep in mind, those are the things we do know, and we only know it because Francona came forward.
Given his actions, there should be no room for Kapler in baseball. Yet somehow, he has another job in the same state where many of his transgressions occurred. This is on the same day the Houston Astros might have finally been nailed for cheating.
Overall, November 12, 2019 was just an outright embarrassing day for baseball. Fans of the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers just discovered their teams might’ve been cheated out of a World Series.
On that front, you have to wonder how Joe Girardi, who was fired after that season, and Yu Darvish, who was beat up by the Astros batters, have to feel. The answer is probably nowhere near the emotions of the victims Kapler’s player development program left in his wake.
Seeing Kapler hired and the Astros cheating finally uncovered, you really have to wonder what Manfred is doing. Any commissioner with an interest in the image of his sport would have been proactive on this, and they would have ensured the guilty parties stayed out of baseball. Not Manfred. Once again, he is nowhere to be seen, and he took no action when baseball and really human beings needed it most.