Dodgers' Justin Turner rips MLB commish Rob Manfred for 'piece of metal' comment

Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner (pictured) said MLB commissioner Rob Manfred is "out of touch" with current players in the league. File Photo by Pat Benic/UPI
Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner (pictured) said MLB commissioner Rob Manfred is "out of touch" with current players in the league. File Photo by Pat Benic/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 17 (UPI) -- Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner took aim at MLB commissioner Rob Manfred on Monday, calling him "out of touch" with the league's players.

Turner voiced his anger with Manfred's characterization of the World Series trophy. In a wide-ranging interview with ESPN on Sunday, the baseball commissioner called the trophy a "piece of metal" when discussing whether Major League Baseball considered stripping the Houston Astros of the 2017 championship.


"I don't know if the commissioner has ever won anything in his life," Turner told reporters. "Maybe he hasn't. But the reason every guy is in this room, the reason every guy is working out all off-season, and showing up to camp early and putting in all the time and effort is specifically for that trophy, which, by the way, is called the Commissioner's Trophy.


"So, for him to devalue it the way he did [Sunday] just tells me how out of touch he is with the players in this game. At this point the only thing devaluing that trophy is that it says 'commissioner' on it."

Turner said he was displeased with the punishment handed down by the league in the Astros' sign-stealing scandal. Former Houston manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were suspended for one year and subsequently fired by the organization.

The Astros also were fined a record $5 million and had multiple draft picks taken away, but no active players were fined or suspended.

"Now anyone who goes forward and cheats to win a World Series," Turner said, "they can live with themselves knowing that, 'Oh, it's OK. ... We'll cheat in the World Series and bring the title back to L.A. Screw [manager] Dave Roberts and screw [general manager] Andrew [Friedman]. It's just those guys losing their jobs. I still get to be called a champion the rest of my life.'

"So the precedent was set by [Manfred] yesterday in this case."

Major League Baseball announced last month that a league investigation confirmed the Astros cheated during the regular season and postseason of their World Series-winning 2017 campaign.


According to Manfred, the Astros used a camera-based system to steal signs of opposing teams during the 2017 season and parts of the 2018 campaign.

Despite the league's findings, Turner said that he doesn't believe Manfred did enough to uncover other things the Astros may have been doing in their sign-stealing operation.

"I think it all comes down to everyone keeps saying, 'The facts, the facts. You don't know the facts. These are the facts,'" Turner said. "I don't think anyone knows the facts. I think everyone just wants to hear all the facts. And I think that the commissioner didn't do a good job of revealing all the facts to us. I still think there's some stuff we don't know."

Turner became the latest member of the Dodgers to sound off about Manfred and the Astros' sign-stealing scheme.

Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen called the Astros' scandal "worse than steroids," while right-handed pitcher Ross Stripling said he would "lean toward yes" when asked whether he would intentionally throw at an Astros batter this season.

Dodgers star outfielder Cody Bellinger went even further, saying the Astros stole the 2017 World Series from the Dodgers and Houston second baseman Jose Altuve stole the AL MVP Award that year from New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge.


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