MLB players blast owners, commissioner Manfred as talks fail

Marcus Stroman had a simple reaction to MLB commissioner Rob Manfred’s announcement on Tuesday that he was canceling the first two series of the regular season due to the lack of a new collective bargaining agreement.

“Manfred gotta go,’’ the former Met wrote on Twitter.

Stroman, who signed with the Cubs before the MLB lockout began in December, was far from the only player to voice his displeasure both at the failure to reach a new CBA, as several expressed dismay about the cancellation of games, but of MLB’s actions throughout the negotiation process.

“It’s mind-blowing these dudes legitimately caused these issues and continue to lie about it,’’ Houston right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. wrote on Twitter, before deleting his account.

McCullers went on to list a rundown of grievances the MLB Players Association had with the game’s owners.

“Walk out on us in Dallas,’’ McCullers wrote, referring to the brief talks on Dec. 1 which led to the work stoppage that began the next day. “Lock us out. Don’t speak to us for six weeks. Take weeks at a time to respond to our proposals. Clearly don’t care about the fan. It’s exhausting.”

Marcus Stroman and Lance McCullers Jr.
Marcus Stroman and Lance McCullers Jr.
Bill Kostroun; Getty Images

When a Twitter user responded to McCullers that the players didn’t care either, he replied: “This is a joke as well. This is our game. We play the game. We love the game. We are fans of the game. We are asking for nothing but a small bit of fairness, largely for young players and players to come behind us. All we care about is baseball.”

And he explained why the players believed their demands weren’t “unreasonable” when it came to players getting paid earlier in their careers, as well as a greater increase in the competitive balance tax.

“What is unreasonable?” McCullers wrote. “Asking for better compensation for our young players that carry the game? Asking for the CBT to grow according to revenue? Trying to protect the young players to come after us? I’m confused.”

Mets right-hander Max Scherzer noted in a press conference Tuesday that the Padres had a higher payroll last season than the Yankees.

And the tone of Manfred’s press conference in which he announced the cancellation of games didn’t go over well, either, as the commissioner was seen laughing before he got to the microphone.

“Have no clue how he has the ability to laugh about anything right now,’’ Angels pitcher Michael Lorenzen wrote on Twitter. “Mind is blown.”

Mets right-hander Trevor May had a message for Manfred in an interview on Instagram live: “What do you want? What are you looking for? I think we’re so far away from understanding each other’s motivation or caring about each other’s motivation, it’s very hard to come to a deal.”

May said the players’ primary concern is: “We want a team to use money they make to win baseball games. It’s no longer that way.”

Manfred was also mocked by another former Met, Noah Syndergaard — also now with the Angels — after a picture of the commissioner surfaced, apparently practicing his golf swing while the negotiations were ongoing.

Prior to Manfred’s announcement, Alex Wood wrote the players “just want a fair deal [and] to play ball” and countered MLB’s argument there was “optimism” for a deal on Monday, saying it was “a PR illusion to make it look like they tried.”

The players pledged they were ready for a fight, with union board member Andrew Miller saying in a press conference Tuesday: “We’re prepared. We’ve seen this coming in a sense. It’s unfortunate but this isn’t new to us. This isn’t shocking.’’

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