Lidge: Manfred Has To "Make Players Not Hate Him"

By CBS Sports Radio

On Tuesday, Tom Glavine told Tiki & Tierney that there will always be distrust between MLB players and owners.

Well, Rob Manfred isn’t doing much to bridge the divide, especially after admitting that owners were set on a 60-game season regardless of how negotiations went with players.

Manfred walked back those comments, of course, but the damage was done.

“Whether you’re a player or a fan, Manfred is in a bad spot right now,” former All-Star and World Series champion Brad Lidge said on Tiki & Tierney. “I don’t think a whole lot of people are looking at him fondly right now. He’s made some comments that he walked back; he made bad comments in the first place, and then he walked them back in incorrect times. I think that kind of rubbed everyone the wrong way. The players union [doesn’t have] a whole lot of love or trust for Manfred right now, and I honestly don’t think there’s a ton he can do to get it back at the moment.”

Unfortunately for baseball – and its fans – the collective bargaining agreement expires after the 2021 season. Given the bad blood between both sides, it seems a labor strike is very much a possibility.

“There’s going to be a lot of hurt feelings going into that, and I guarantee you that the players are not going to hold back,” Lidge said. “They’re going to be very upset by how this thing played out, and I think it could get pretty ugly next year. I don’t want to say that we’re going to have a strike, but I think we have a higher potential for that . . . than we’ve ever seen because of the way that Manfred’s handled a lot of things. 

“It’s too bad,” Lidge continued. “The players don’t trust him at all right now, and he’s going to have to figure out different ways here and there to try and get the trust back on his side or at least to try to make players not hate him. Right now, a lot of guys, I wouldn’t even say they’re neutral; they flat out dislike him. I don’t know how you repair that in a year-and-a-half before the next collective bargaining, and that’s what makes me nervous.”