Ripken: Manfred Didn't Completely Miss The Boat

Many players and fans are unhappy with Rob Manfred, but his handling of the Astros could prevent other teams from committing the same transgressions  

Tiki and Tierney
February 19, 2020 - 9:05 am

The Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal has rocked the MLB offseason, and many players, fans and analysts aren’t happy. They believe Rob Manfred missed the boat in not punishing – or even attempting to punish – the players. 

Granted, the MLB Players Association may have intervened and put the kibosh on those punishments, but shouldn’t Manfred have attempted to discipline the players to create the perception that he at least tried to do the right thing?

“I think the only thing he could have done differently is maybe address the PA earlier,” MLB Network analyst Bill Ripken said on Tiki & Tierney. “Maybe went to them and said, ‘Look, during the start of this investigation, if I come up with something, what do you think is going to happen?’ Maybe that’s what it was, but I think that his directive that he sent out earlier in 2017 basically addressed that. He said, ‘If I feel that teams are doing this and we do an investigation and we find out teams are doing it using electronics, doing this real-time stuff, the manager and general manager are going to wear this. So his directive in 2017 said the manager and general manager are going to wear this.

“I hear some of the players out there talking and everything else, [but] don’t run that divide within the union,” Ripken continued. “That’s my kind of thought first and foremost. I get [that] people are upset, but I go back to 2017 and his directive said, ‘This is going to happen.’ So he kind of said what he was going to do and then did it. I think he should be applauded when it comes to the . . . manager and general manager [being fired] and we’ve got one more investigation going on right now with the Red Sox, so let’s see where this one kind of goes.”

While many folks are unhappy with how Manfred handled the Astros, his punishment could prevent other teams from committing the same transgressions.

“I’m pretty sure if I was a manager right now and this is my first gig in the big leagues, I’m going to have that meeting in spring training with everybody,” Ripken said, “and say, ‘Look, players, money’s good. You guys are all getting paid. I’m happy for every one of you. But if I see any of you cheating, I’m going to turn you in – because you’re not going to mess me over.’”