Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images

Players respond to President Trump’s tweet criticizing Dave Roberts

32 Comments

Last night, President Trump tweeted his thoughts on Dodgers manager Dave Roberts’ bullpen strategy. Starter Rich Hill had tossed six shutout innings, but issued a leadoff walk to Xander Bogaerts in the seventh. After striking out Eduardo Núñez, Roberts elected to swap Hill for fellow lefty Scott Alexander, who walked Brock Holt on four pitches. He then brought in Ryan Madson, who has struggled in the World Series thus far. Madson was able to get Jackie Bradley, Jr. to pop out, but then served up a three-run home run to Mitch Moreland that put the Red Sox back in the game. The Red Sox would to on to tie the game in the eighth, then hung a five-spot in the ninth en route to a 9-6 victory.

Trump tweeted:

Watching the Dodgers/Red Sox final innings. It is amazing how a manager takes out a pitcher who is loose & dominating through almost 7 innings, Rich Hill of Dodgers, and brings in nervous reliever(s) who get shellacked. 4 run lead gone. Managers do it all the time, big mistake!

During the postgame press conference, Roberts was asked to respond to the tweet. To his credit, Roberts was level-headed about the criticism. Roberts said, “The President said that? I’m happy he was tuning in and watching the game. I don’t know how many Dodger games he’s watched. I don’t think he was privy to the conversation. That’s one man’s opinion.”

Roberts wasn’t the only one to respond to Trump’s tweet. Via Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, Hill said, “There was a mass shooting yesterday … The focus, in my opinion, of the president is to be on the country, and not on moves that are made in a World Series game.”

Astros third baseman Alex Bregman tweeted a few crying laughter emojis followed by, “I’m crying …. don’t get mad at me for commenting y’all… this is a sports related tweet….” Then, responding to someone who suggested that Trump’s tweet isn’t out of character for a President, Bregman said, “I’m just saying it’s funny how we are told to stick to playing sports… It’s very hypocritical when he’s telling Roberts how to manage…especially when a mass shooting just happened earlier that day…”

Minor League Baseball accuses MLB of making misleading statements

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Yesterday several members of Congress, calling themselves the “Save Minor League Baseball Task Force,” introduced a resolution saying that Major League Baseball should drop its plan to eliminate the minor league clubs and, rather, maintain the current minor league structure. In response, Major League Baseball issued a statement accusing Minor League Baseball of refusing to negotiate and imploring Congress to prod Minor League Baseball back to the bargaining table.

Only one problem with that: According to Minor League Baseball, it has been at the table. And, in a new statement today, claims that MLB is making knowingly false statements about all of that:

“Minor League Baseball was encouraged by the dialogue in a recent meeting between representatives of Minor League Baseball and Major League Baseball and a commitment by both sides to engage further on February 20. However, Major League Baseball’s claims that Minor League Baseball is not participating in these negotiations in a constructive and productive manner is false. Minor League Baseball has provided Major League Baseball with numerous substantive proposals that would improve the working conditions for Minor League Baseball players by working with MLB to ensure adequate facilities and reasonable travel. Unfortunately, Major League Baseball continues to misrepresent our positions with misleading information in public statements that are not conducive to good faith negotiations.”

I suppose Rob Manfred’s next statement is either going to double down or, alternatively, he’s going to say “wait, you were at the airport Marriott? We thought the meeting was at the downtown Marriott! Oh, so you were at the table. Our bad!”

Minor League Baseball is not merely offering dueling statements, however. A few minutes ago it released a letter it had sent to Rob Manfred six days ago, the entirely of which can be read here.

In the letter, the Minor League Baseball Negotiating Committee said it, “is singularly focused on working with MLB to reach an agreement that will best ensure that baseball remains the National Pastime in communities large and small throughout our
country,” and that to that end it seeks to “set forth with clarity in a letter to you the position of MiLB on the key issues that we must resolve in these negotiations.”

From there the letter goes through the various issues Major League Baseball has put on the table, including the status of the full season and short season leagues and implores MLB not to, as proposed, eliminate the Appalachian League. It blasts MLB’s concept of “The Dream League” — the bucket into which MLB proposed to throw all newly-unaffiliated clubs — as a “seriously flawed concept,” and strongly counters the talking point Major League Baseball has offered about how it allegedly “subsidizes” the minor leagues.

You should read the whole letter. And Rob Manfred should probably stop issuing statements that, it would appear, are easily countered.