Rob Manfred stuck his foot in his mouth once again on Wednesday, claiming that the owners were not willing to play more than 60 games in this season no matter what the MLBPA said, while disregarding their previous offers.
The comments...well, they went poorly, folks!
After 24 hours of backlash, Manfred now claims that his assertion that the owners were not going to play more than 60 games was only related to negotiations after the second spike in coronavirus cases, and was not the guiding principle throughout negotiations.
“My point was that no matter what happened with the union, the way things unfolded with the second spike...We would have ended up with only time for 60 games, anyway," Manfred said. "As time went on, it became clearer and clearer that the course of the virus was going to dictate how many games we could play.’’
That's a sharp reversal from what Manfred was spouting just a few days ago, which made it sound like the owners and league were negotiating in bad faith with the union the entire time. This explanation did little to minimize the blowback, as Manfred's justifications for his unusual thoughts and actions are often worse than the original actions themselves.
Manfred's clarification might have actually made things worse. Baseball couldn't have picked a more scattershot, unprepared figure to lead them through these dark times.