A man­ager’s um­pire rant goes on­line and Man­fred cries foul

The Expositor (Brantford) - - SPORTS -

NEW YORK — Com­mis­sioner Rob Man­fred says Ma­jor League Base­ball is try­ing to re­move from the in­ter­net the leaked video of for­mer Mets man­ager Terry Collins rant­ing at um­pires.

The pro­fan­ity- laced video sur­faced this week from a Dodger­sMets game in May 2016 that Fox tele­vised. Collins fumes af­ter ace Noah Syn­der­gaard is ejected in the third in­ning for throw­ing a fast­ball be­hind Chase Ut­ley. In the 2015 play­offs, Ut­ley broke the leg of Mets in­fielder Ruben Te­jada with a late, hard slide.

Um­pire crew chief Tom Hal­lion is heard ex­plain­ing the ejec­tion to Syn­der­gaard, Neil Walker and other Mets, then he breaks away to head off Collins. For many fans, the loud ex­change be­tween Collins and Hal­lion il­lu­mi­nated what ac­tu­ally gets said dur­ing heated dis­putes.

“We made a com­mit­ment to the um­pires that if they would wear mi­cro­phones, cer­tain types of in­ter­ac­tions that we all know go on the field would not be aired pub­licly,” Man­fred said Thurs­day af­ter the own­ers meet­ings ended.

“We promised them that. It’s in the col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing agree­ment. We had no choice in a sit­u­a­tion like that then to do ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to live up to our agree­ment. It is Labour Re­la­tions 101. To not do that is the kind of breach of trust that puts you in a bad spot over the long haul,” he said.

Man­fred said there was con­ver­sa­tion this week about how de­fen­sive shifts have af­fected the game. Bat­ting aver­ages are drop­ping, among other de­vel­op­ments, and Man­fred said MLB’s Com­pe­ti­tion Com­mit­tee wanted to see “whether it’s time for us to man­age these trends a lit­tle more ag­gres­sively.”

A change that could oc­cur as soon as next sea­son: teams play­ing a two- game se­ries on the week­end.

Nor­mally, clubs meet for three games over the week­end. But in the case where mar­quee teams play just twice — say, Na­tion­als-Yan­kees — those might be held on Satur­day and Sun­day.

Man­fred said MLB was pleased with the pace of play. Games this year were av­er­ag­ing 2 hours, 59 min­utes, 49 sec­onds through Wed­nes­day; last year, they av­er­aged 3: 05: 11.

Mound vis­its by catchers, coaches, man­agers and other team­mates for non­pitch­ing changes are down, too, from 7.41 last year to an average of 3.92 this sea­son.

Man­fred said the own­ers had a long dis­cus­sion about the “sports bet­ting land­scape” af­ter Delaware and New Jer­sey be­gan le­gal bet­ting on games.

As for the never- end­ing de­bate on the des­ig­nated hit­ter and whether the Na­tional League would ever switch to the DH, Man­fred said: “I think that is a con­tin­u­ing source of con­ver­sa­tion among the own­er­ship group and I think that the di­a­logue ac­tu­ally prob­a­bly moved a lit­tle bit.”

We made a com­mit­ment to the um­pires that if they would wear mi­cro­phones, cer­tain types of in­ter­ac­tions that we all know go on the field would not be aired pub­licly.” Rob Man­fred, MLB com­mis­sioner

AP FILES

New York Mets man­ager Terry Collins ar­gues with um­pire Tom Hal­lion in this 2016 file photo. Com­mis­sioner Rob Man­fred says Ma­jor League Base­ball is try­ing to re­move from the in­ter­net the leaked video of for­mer Mets man­ager Terry Collins rant­ing at um­pires.

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