MLB

MLB players not accepting Rob Manfred's apology after calling World Series trophy 'piece of metal'

MLB players not accepting Rob Manfred's apology after calling World Series trophy 'piece of metal'

Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred tried more damage control on Tuesday.

After referring to the World Series trophy as a "piece of metal," Manfred apologized for the disrespectful comment after receiving plenty of backlash for his choice of words.

“I referred to the World Series trophy in a disrespectful way, and I want to apologize for it,” Manfred said at a press conference at spring training in Arizona. “There’s no excuse for it...It was a mistake to say what I said.”

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Several MLB players already are upset with Manfred's handling of the Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal and many past and present Astros opponents have criticized the commissioner's penalties against Houston as far too lenient.

Manfred reference to one of baseball's most prized possessions - known officially as The Commissioner's Trophy - as a "piece of metal" only added more fuel to the fire, with current Chicago Cubs and former Boston Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester, in particular, infuriated by the commissioner's words.

“That’s somebody that has never played our game. You play for a reason, you play for that piece of metal. I’m very proud of the three that I have,” Lester said, according to Associated Press. “If that’s the way he feels, then he needs to take his name off the trophy.”

Former Red Sox infielder Lou Merloni also had some choice words for the commissioner.

"Well, I'll say this. I had some time to think about it and no, I don't accept his apology because I think it's ridiculous," Merloni said Tuesday on NBC Sports Boston's Boston Sports Tonight. "The trophy is called the Commissioner's Trophy. He is the commissioner of Major League Baseball and to utter the words it's a 'piece of metal,' to me, is a slap in the face for people who played this game forever, well before he was the commissioner of this league. There are people for whom winning a World Series championship changes their lives. There are people that lose a World Series changes their lives.

"The closest I got was an ALCS. I never got to play in one. I never had an opportunity to win one. There's a lot of guys who have won many, and we praise them for it... they're in the Hall of Fame for it. To sit there and to basically minimize what the World Series trophy is, what this represents, to me, is inexcusable. So, you can apologize all you want, but he never should've uttered those words in the first place. I think it's a disgrace."

Ron Roenicke details why Brock Holt has one of the most difficult jobs in baseball

Ron Roenicke details why Brock Holt has one of the most difficult jobs in baseball

Brock Holt is no longer a member of the Boston Red Sox organization.

It was expected that the Red Sox wouldn't re-sign Holt after signing Jose Peraza in December, resulting in the utility man -- and Red Sox fan favorite -- reportedly agreeing to a deal with the Milwaukee Brewers.

With those accomplishments, including becoming the first player in Major League Baseball history to hit for the cycle in the postseason, Red Sox interim manager Ron Roenicke had some high praise for Holt on Tuesday morning after learning he signed a deal with the Brewers.

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"I thought he was a fantastic hitter," Roenicke said of the 31-year-old. "I think this guy can really hit. He's coming in there facing the best relievers in the game, the nastiest stuff, and he's coming in there in the eighth, ninth inning trying to do some big things. That is without a doubt, the hardest job in baseball."

And with one of the most difficult jobs in baseball, Holt impressed in many plate appearances for the Red Sox through his last 77 games with the organization. He averaged .311 at the plate with a .384 OBP and .810 OPS while playing almost every position possible.

In his seven years with the Red Sox, Holt averaged .270 at the plate with 23 home runs, 203 RBIs and a .715 OPS -- which doesn't even detail how unbelievably special he was for Boston in the biggest moments, including Boston's 2018 postseason run and World Series Championship.

 

Report: Red Sox asked 'influencers' to promote team after Mookie Betts trade

Report: Red Sox asked 'influencers' to promote team after Mookie Betts trade

The Boston Red Sox apparently are well aware they may suffer from an enthusiasm deficit in 2020.

The Red Sox contacted "a bunch of social media influencers" in the Boston area in the hopes they would promote the team after it traded superstar outfielder Mookie Betts and pitcher David Price to the Los Angeles Dodgers, WEEI's Rich Keefe reported Tuesday on "The Dale & Keefe Show."

Keefe added some of these "influencers" don't typically post about sports, but have significant followings on Instagram, Twitter, etc. that the Red Sox apparently want them to use to drum up interest in the 2020 club.

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If true, that plan of attack isn't a very good sign for a team whose ticket sales are down about 15 percent from last year, according to Red Sox president Sam Kennedy, who pointed out in Monday's press conference that tickets are still available for many 2020 games at Fenway Park.

The Red Sox' arrow was already pointing down this offseason after they won 84 games and missed the playoffs in 2019.

Then the team traded its franchise player in Betts, an unpopular move among fans that Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom admitted will make the team worse in 2020.

Red Sox ownership was adamant Monday that trading Betts before he hit free agency was in the franchise's best interest long-term. But ownership also is clearly aware that trading Betts affects its short-term business -- and reportedly is pulling out all the stops to remedy that.