Trevor Bauer calls baseball commissioner Rob Manfred 'a joke,' playoff expansion proposal 'absurd'

Reds pitcher sounds off against Astros, too
Posted at 1:04 PM, Feb 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-17 13:05:38-05

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer says he has gotten positive response to his criticism of a plan being considered by Major League Baseball to expand the playoffs, one that includes an extended break for top seeds and some teams choosing who they will play.

Bauer directed his ire toward Commissioner Rob Manfred in a tweet: “Your proposal is absurd for too many reasons to type on twitter and proves you have absolutely no clue about baseball. You’re a joke.”

Deep into a lengthy interview which ESPN aired Sunday about the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal, Manfred was asked specifically about his reaction to Bauer’s tweet that characterized the commissioner as a joke.

“Well, I think if you look back on the questions we’ve already gone through, I’m pretty good about accepting people’s views and criticisms,” Manfred told ESPN. “I don’t have to agree with them, and I’ll say this about that particular comment. No matter how much, how completely I disagreed with what a player thought about something, there’s no way I would speak about a major league player like that.”

After working out in Arizona, the All-Star pitcher said he hadn’t heard the commissioner’s response and didn’t want to specifically respond to that. He said he had not spoken to the commissioner about the tweet or a lengthy video that Bauer also posted.

“Generally when I say stuff, people take it one way or the other,” Bauer said Sunday about the general response to his criticism. “It’s been mostly positive. I think when people speak and they come from a place of sincerity and like caring about the situation, you know, it’s easy for people to identify that, and to hear that in the genuine nature of it.”

Bauer was passionate with his thoughts in the video that was nearly seven minutes long and posted after the tweet. He said near the end of that video that he was open to speaking with the commissioner.

Comedian/actor and baseball fan Jerry Seinfeld sent a tweet Friday with Bauer’s video attached to it, and wrote, “Trevor Bauer to the rescue! Love this guy.”

Under a plan being considered by MLB, the playoffs would be expanded to nearly half the 30 teams, growing from 10 to 14 with higher-seeded wild-card teams allowed to choose opponents. The top seeds in each league would get byes, creating extended layoffs between games.

Bauer has also had strong reactions to the Astros scandal, including some comments after Houston owner Jim Crane was widely criticized for an apology that rang hollow to many.

“I’m not going to let them forget the fact that they are hypocrites, they are cheaters,” Bauer told reporters Friday.

“They mocked everything about everyone who said they were doing something under the table or illegal or whatever,” Bauer said, tossing a few expletives while adding, “Now you’re lying about your apology.”

Bauer took a bit of a different tone Sunday, saying it was “time for everyone to just move on” from that situation.

Asked how that could happen, he said, “It starts by people like me that have had opinions stopping talking about it.”