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Dodgers: It’s Time to Move on From Rob Manfred and MLB’s Commissioner



Rob Manfred is a bad commissioner. No, really. Does this guy get anything right?

Tuesday night marked the Dodgers’ first return to Minute Maid Park since the debacle that was game five of the 2017 World Series. I don’t need to relive that haunted game, and I’m sure you don’t need to either. 

Then, it was another tarnishing episode in Clayton Kershaw’s haunted playoff legacy. Now, it’s one of the biggest what-ifs that Dodgers fans will probably never get over. 

The Astros cheated, and they forever altered a chunk of baseball history for the worse. They don’t deserve our forgiveness, and that’s not just because of the continual arrogance they’ve displayed since their scandal was exposed months ago. 

So, as much as LA manager Dave Roberts tried to emphasize to his team that this was ‘just another game’ in this peculiar 60 game regular season, no one ever believed that. 

While without a doubt there were some fans that wouldn’t have necessarily minded seeing a bit of forced injury strike the likes of Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve, George Springer, or Carlos Correa, the vast majority of people merely hoped for some menial, relatively harmless, payback. 

And that’s where Joe Kelly steps in during the fifth inning of Tuesday’s game. 

Truthfully, Kelly’s pitching is a mess half of the time. We all remember the video that went viral this past offseason when Kelly broke a window in his house because of his unpredictable pitching command. 

So when Kelly immediately rattled off three balls and couldn’t find the strike zone while facing Bregman, it didn’t really make much sense to try working his way back into the count. 

He then threw a 96 MPH pitch near Bregman’s head, but let’s also be honest here. If the Astros outfielder wasn’t so vertically challenged, would the throw have even come close to going above his shoulders? 

Anyways, in an instant, Kelly became a hero not only for a grieving fan base that likely would’ve won its first championship since 1988 a couple of years ago had it not been for the Astros cheating, but also for the rest of the MLB.

His night wasn’t over yet, though. 

After spending some time throwing to first, likely with the intention to nail Bregman in the ribs, Kelly’s lack of control found him also throwing a pitch up and high to the ignorantly outspoken, previously massage-injured, Carlos Correa.

He’d then work his way back into the count, strikeout Correa with a slider, and cement his legacy in Dodgers’ folklore by mocking the Astros shortstop with a few whiny faces and exchange of words. 

In the post-game press conference Kelly and the Dodgers’ brass would play off what happened during that fifth-inning, but we all know what actually transpired. 

Best of all, no one was injured as a result of the series of altercations, but the message that so many have been trying to communicate to Houston’s dugout rang loud and true: no one respects the players on that team or the organization as a whole anymore.

Well, no one but Manfred, MLB’s long embarrassing commissioner, that is. 

On Wednesday Kelly was handed down a hefty eight-game suspension, which in this COVID-era 60 game regular season, is equivalent to a 22 game suspension in a typical 162 game marathon. 

But if Kelly was given the equivalent of 22 games for not hitting a single batter and merely exchanging a few well-deserved words with Correa, the Astros must’ve been banned for an entire season for all they did…right?

Nope. 

When the MLB investigated this trash-can-banging scandal (It’s been months and I still can’t believe this is real!) they granted the Astros players immunity in exchange for the truth. So, when it became clear how despicable this entire situation really was, no players were suspended or punished in any way for their dishonest and slimy wrongdoings.

For Pete’s sake, just think about how Kershaw’s legacy might be different had none of this ever happened. 

Without the Astros players literally knowing which pitches he’d throw in that World Series Game 5 in 2017, the Dodgers probably win the title and he likely wins the World Series MVP. 

All those “Kershaw always chokes in the playoffs” jokes? They’d be nonexistent. 

This is all without even mentioning the number of players throughout the league that lost their jobs or were sent back down to the minors due to something that was completely out of their control. 

Fans and players are upset, and understandably so. But while the anger starts with the Astros, it continues and is amplified by the sham that is Rob Manfred as the commissioner. 

Manfred’s suspension of Kelly delivers a clear message from him to the rest of the league: teams might as well cheat because I’ll protect you before I protect the sanctity of baseball. 

What a blow to the fans and players that live and breathe this beautiful game. 

If Manfred continues to be in charge of baseball, it would not be far-fetched to predict the demise of America’s favorite pastime. 

I mean seriously, this guy will do whatever it takes to protect a bunch of dudes that virtually made the entire 2017 season worthless. What’s next?

And don’t even get me started on how poorly Manfred has handled the entire COVID situation.

Kelly will appeal his suspension, but most aren’t very optimistic that’ll change anything. The MLB has already drawn its lines in the sand, and unfortunately, they’re for the detriment of the sport. 

I’d say, as a fan of the game, enjoy baseball while you can. Who knows if this season will even finish. And on top of that, if Manfred is not ousted soon, there might not be much to enjoy come a few year’s time.

PODCAST: Free Joe Kelly, Fire Rob Manfred

Written by Kellan Grant

I’m currently a junior at Pomona College in Claremont, CA, and I have a passion for sports journalism. I grew up in the LA area and am a diehard fan of the Dodgers, Lakers, Rams, UCLA, Kings. My favorite Dodgers memory was watching Kershaw tear up after the team won the 2017 NLCS and advanced to the World Series for the first time in his career. After college, I plan on either pursuing a career as a sports journalist or working in sports law.

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  1. Rob Manfred has got to go. He’s been at the center of the most inept handling of events for a while. Far too long actually. The PED scandal, particularly in reference to Alex Rodriguez and the Miami steroid cases. I believe Rodriguez should have been banned from MLB. Period. Manfred proved he was corrupt and incompetent right then and there. Now with this draconian penalty against Kelly and exactly zero – repeat ZERO – players on the Astros or Red Sox received anything at all. This isn’t fair.

  2. As I recall the scene it was the Astros who were in front of the Dodger bench and not vice versa. I always thought it was the aggressor who moved in for the fight but Manfred is also indirectly re-writing military tactics. By his interpretation the attacking “army” is not the one that advances on the other but the other who digs in awaiting the assault

    It could be worse. Manfred could be a four star in he military leading our military combat strategy. There his decisaons would place our survival in jeopardy not our “national pastime” that is poising itself to pass that moniker on to another sport under his leadership

  3. Manfred is simply doing what his master Jim Crane ordered him to do. Did ya see that Crane “apologized” once again for the Astros behavior? Actually, he apologized that some people misunderstood his original apology. He is really sorry, he says. He’s really sorry that we didn’t see how sorry he was the first time. Of course, if he was sorry he’d return the trophy and take down the pennant, something that Manfred should have done immediately after concluding the investigation, but that ain’t gonna happen. The new MLB message is “let’s help the Asterisks out by making it illegal for any pitcher to throw within four feet of an Astro hitter. That way they race to another title and everyone can say see they are good anyway and that 2017 didn’t happen after all (other than the part about of the Astros winning).”

  4. No really! What has to be done to remove this so-called commissioner? The only true thing about his name is Fred. He doesn’t have the cajones to be a man. A real man would do the right thing. Honestly, let’s see what we can do to get a real commissioner, one that knows what he’s doing.

  5. At MLB High School, Principal Manfred will not discipline the cheating student, but instead blame teachers and counselors for not teaching the student that cheating is bad and for allowing the cheating to happen. If the other students who lost the much needed scholarships confront the cheating student, Principal Manfred suspends them for half a semester. Great leadership!

  6. TO GET RID OF MANFRED STOP THE PAY CHECK, I AM SURE THERE WOULD BE ONLY 1 TEAM THAT FIGHT THAT, BUT DAM DO SOMETHING INSTEAD OF TALKING.BASEBALL IS A BUSINESS, WHEN SOMEONE IS OUT OF LINE YOU FIRE HIS A====SS.

  7. You’ve said this very well. First off, he seems to have an issue against the Los Angeles Dodgers. First the 2017 World Series Scandal. Then 2018 and the Red Sox, as well. Then, with COVID and the All-Star Game, he not only delayed it one year, but two. into 2022. Well, there may not be a 2022 season, due to lockouts and strikes, caused by this clown in the position as commissioner of baseball. When it comes to the Los Angeles Dodgers, he always seems to rule against them in any way he can.

    How he handled things preparing to come back from COVID was a sham, maybe even a crime. There was absolutely NO GOOD FAITH in his actions towards negotiating (really???) coming back. He does not seem to care at all about the game of baseball And when it comes to negotiating a new Collective Bargaining Agreement for 2022 and beyond, I do not believe there will be one. He is the DICTATOR of the game of baseball, and he seeks to be trying to ruin it with EVERY action he takes. I fully believe there will be NO SEASON in 2022, or maybe beyond. Baseball may have to fold, and start over again due to this clown Manfred. He needs removed NOW, TODAY, or there may be no more baseball.

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