On Sunday Commissioner of Baseball Rob Manfred met the press in an effort to defuse the anger and displeasure arising out of the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal by, basically, talking about it in the past tense, attacking the media and acting defensively. It went poorly. This morning Ken Rosenthal published a story in which Manfred attempted to shift blame and justify his actions and inactions in the sign-stealing scandal. It went over like a lead balloon, and players and fans around the league continue to voice their anger and displeasure at the Astros and the league.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
No, Manfred can’t fix his past mistakes or un-do the damage the Astros and other teams around the league who broke the rules have done, but he could chart a different course forward and at least begin the process of lifting baseball out of this muck. He could do it by issuing a simple statement. Making a speech, actually.
Something like the one I wrote below. He’ll never do it. I don’t believe he has the self-awareness or the humility to even attempt it. But it’s what a real leader would say.
Hello. I’m here to speak today about sign stealing and the…