Rob Manfred surely read the headlines, columns and social media comments bashing him throughout 2020, but the live booing he received from fans at Globe Life Field while speaking after Tuesday’s Game 6 still seemed to strike a nerve.
MLB’s commissioner paused as he was greeted with jeers amid a postgame ceremony honoring the Dodgers for their first World Series win since 1988. It was clear he recognized the negative response.
The boos continued throughout Manfred’s winding speech, which confused many fans watching from home for its slow, inconsistent cadence. He explained afterward his slurring of words came from teechnical difficulties.
Manfred has become unpopular for his handling of the Astros’ cheating scandal — many believe he went easy on the players involved — as well as his obsession with tweaking the fabric of the game through fundamental rule changes. The Dodgers are perhaps the team that feels most wronged by him considering they lost to Houston in the 2017 World Series.
Manfred encountered a new controversy moments after Tuesday’s game concluded, when it was revealed Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner had tested positive for COVID-19. Turner was pulled from Game 6 in the eighth inning.
Preventing the spread of the coronavirus during the pandemic is one of the primary responsibilities commissioners have held in 2020, so it’s not a good look for the league that Turner played most of the game while apparently infected. Excitement for the Dodgers was somewhat diluted by concern for Turner.
Manfred’s year has been marked by blowback almost every step of the way, and he no longer gets the benefit of doubt from most baseball fans.
That much was clear from the social media response to his speech:
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