Cubs star Kris Bryant is not buying Rob Manfred's apology and he has another message for the MLB commissioner.
Bryant said if Manfred believes the player-to-player anger over the Astros scandal that steals signs will break the MLBPA at the next round of labor negotiations, he is deeply mistaken.
"I think they're looking at it well, but then the commissioner makes some comments that annoy some players," the Cubs union representative told the Chicago Sun-Times on Wednesday. "You see the players react to it, and it's like," Oh yes, we actually agree on that [management], ' "
The current collective agreement does not expire until December 2021, but many observers believe that it will develop into a controversial struggle between the two sides.
Bryant also said he doesn't think many players accept Manfred's apology for calling the World Series trophy a "piece of metal."
"I don't think people will accept that," Bryant told the website. "When you say something like that, I really think he really meant it. He really thought it was just a piece of metal. Not for me. I have one in my home office and it is right there, in the center of attention.
"This was something that was very important to me and very important for the entire organization, since we haven't had one in 108 years. This piece of metal meant a lot to this whole city."
MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark began his annual tour of every camp in Florida and Arizona to discuss topics from the Astros scandal to the free hand and the future of in-game technology. The first team he visited on Wednesday was the Mets.
Michael Conforto, who is the Mets player representative, said the union is preparing for a "fight" with the owners and the players agree.
"These meetings are always about being unified," said Conforto. "There will be a fight in 2021 with the new one [collective bargaining agreement]and we have to focus on that. The goal is to remain consistent. I have no doubt that the league will come together. At the moment it is difficult with all the things that are going on. The player union will be very, very strong at this point. "
– Additional reporting from Mike Puma