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Cardinals' Adam Wainwright on MLB's Rob Manfred: 'He Doesn't Do Anything for Us'

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIMarch 15, 2022

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

MLB players made their opinions on commissioner Rob Manfred abundantly clear amid the league's 99-day lockout, to the point where the baseball leader admitted last week that he had to do more to fix his relationship with them.

Since those remarks, at least one respected veteran (and likely future Hall of Famer) provided clear comments about Manfred's impact on players.

"To just put it bluntly, he doesn't do anything for us," St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright said, per the Associated Press' Jake Seiner (h/t ABC News).

"I know how that's going to read, so Commissioner Manfred, don't take it personal. That's just how it looks from a players' standpoint."

Manfred spoke in a news conference in New York's MLB headquarters last week about how he needed to have a good relationship with players but hadn't accomplished that as of yet:

"One of the things that I'm supposed to do is promote a good relationship with our players I've tried to do that. I think that I have not been successful in that. I think that it begins with small steps. It's why I picked the phone up after the ratification and called Tony and expressed my desire to work with him. It's gonna be a priority of mine moving forward to try to make good on the commitment I made to him on the phone."

Players were asked about what Manfred could do better and provided various responses, per the AP.

"I think for me it's just more positivity toward the game and players, and that's really it," New York Yankees relief pitcher Zack Britton said.

"Maybe just all the comments and stuff," Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Tyler Glasnow said. "I'd say there was a lot of anger toward, like, the 'piece of metal.' There are small things like that."

Tampa Bay outfielder Kevin Kiermaier also expressed displeasure about Manfred smiling during a press conference in which he announced that the first two series of the year would be canceled amid the lockout.

"We didn't get a deal done two weeks ago, and he's like kind of laughing or smiling," Kiermaier said. "I didn't think anything was funny or comical about what happened."

Manfred's job is ultimately to represent the interest of the 30 ownership teams in the league, so forming a positive relationship with players can be a challenge, especially in the midst of a labor dispute.

"In fairness to him, being commissioner, he's got to make sure he watches out for those guys," Wainwright said.

The relationship between owners and players appears to have thawed out somewhat now after a new collective bargaining agreement was reached, giving Manfred a chance to act on his stated priority. For now, spring training is in full swing, and Opening Day is set for April 7.

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