Rob Manfred A's May 28, 2023; Oakland, California, USA; Oakland Athletics fans sit between signs reading ÒKaval=liarÓ, ÒFisher outÓ and ÒsellÓ during the first inning against the Houston Astros at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and his comments about Oakland A’s fans are still under the microscope. Manfred all but dissed A’s fans who had planned a “reverse boycott” of the team, which has all but said they’re moving to Las Vegas. Add preeminent baseball reporter Ken Rosenthal to the list of people who have skewered the commissioner.

Rosenthal went on Foul Territory and discussed the recent quarrels between A’s fans and Manfred. Simply put, he’s not a fan of what the MLB commissioner had to say.

“And I kind of mentioned that this was punching down,” Rosenthal said. “That it’s a person of authority, and responsibility and power, kind of looking at the average fan and saying, ‘Ha-ha, not good enough, sorry.'”

“It’s unbecoming of a commissioner of a sport,” Rosenthal emphatically said. “It’s not something that reflects well on him or the sport.”

He explained that he knew Manfred’s job was to be the “bad guy.” But, as Rosenthal pointed out, “You can be the bad guy and be gracious. You can be the bad guy and have a feel for the fans in your sport. You can be the bad guy and have a feel for the players in your sport. He has not consistently shown that feel for the players and the fans.”

These are scathing comments, especially considering where Rosenthal lands on the pedestal. He’s the most prominent MLB reporter in the industry, no disrespect to anyone else. His voice carries a lot of weight in the industry, so the fact that he’s railing this hard against the commissioner is no small thing.

And he’s right. It came off as arrogant and absurd that Manfred all but pointed and laughed at A’s fans, pointing out how their “reverse boycott” was just the “average attendance” for an MLB game.

Few have really come to Manfred’s defense on most of his shortcomings as MLB commissioner. Now he’s been hit by one of the biggest voices the sport has known this century.


About Chris Novak

Chris Novak has been talking and writing about sports ever since he can remember. Previously, Novak wrote for and managed sites in the SB Nation network for nearly a decade from 2013-2022