The Major League Baseball Players Association said in a statement late Tuesday that it had fully cooperated with the league on Houston Astros' sign theft on signs, after Commissioner Rob Manfred said MLB and the union had an agreement about player immunity to avoid a standoff.
“Any suggestion that the association did not cooperate with the Commissioner's investigation, hindered the investigation or otherwise took positions that led to a standoff is completely wrong.
"We acted to protect the rights of our members as well as our legal obligation."
Earlier in the day, Commissioner Rob Manfred had told reporters in Scottsdale, Arizona, the process the league had followed in the investigation. Manfred said he originally told the Players Association that the league would not rule out disciplining players, but said he had received a recoil from the union.
"The union told us that this would be a problem," Manfred told reporters on Tuesday. “We went back and suggested that they give them a first list of people – players – to whom we would grant immunity to preserve our ability to discipline other players. And the union came back and said the players would only cooperate if there was full immunity. Since we were in a stalemate, we knew we needed game toys and agreed to this immunity agreement. "
Manfred also said that if the league had not reached an agreement with the union, the league would not have gotten this far in its investigation.
"Let me be clear – we would not have gotten there where we understood the facts, learned the facts, and disclosed the facts if we had not reached that agreement," he said. "So I'm not critical of anyone. However, the fact is that the union wanted an immunity agreement to protect its members. And that's how we got there."
This is a problem that could potentially split union members as many players and stars like Mike Trout and Aaron Judge have fooled the Astros for fraud.
"This is a crucial time for our game and these are extremely important issues," the union said. “How the parties will deal with it over the next few weeks will have a major impact on how our game will look in the coming decades. The opportunity now is to take a new path forward. "
Previously, the commissioner had to apologize for calling the World Series Trophy a “piece of metal”.
“To make a rhetorical point clear, I disrespectfully referred to the World Series Trophy. … It was a mistake to say what I said, ”said Manfred.