Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen was recorded, apparently against his knowledge, criticizing MLB commissioner Rob Manfred's leadership Thursday afternoon.
"He just doesn't get it," Van Wagenen said to two people in a room at Citi Field.
Multiple MLB games were postponed Thursday night as players protested racial injustice. The Phillies made the decision not to play their series finale in D.C. after a players-only meeting at the team hotel.
"Baseball's trying to come up with a solution that would be super powerful. Three of us here, can't leave this room," Van Wagenen said. "They're saying, 'It would be really great if you could have them all take the field, and then they leave the field, and then they come back and play at 8:10.'
"And I was like, what? ... They're not playing, that's not happening. But that's Rob's instinct. It's exactly what we were talking about. At a leadership level, he doesn't get it. He just doesn't get it."
Here's video of Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen discussing a plan in which he says MLB wanted the Mets to take the field, leave it and return an hour later. Van Wagenen is critical of the idea and commissioner Rob Manfred, saying: "He just doesn't get it." (Video via @NickCocco18) pic.twitter.com/46Z9neVkJt— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) August 27, 2020
The Mets and Marlins were supposed to play at 7:10 p.m. Thursday. Instead, the teams took the field, stood for 42 second of silence in honor of Jackie Robinson, then left the field. In the video, Van Wagenen said the league suggested a one-hour delay rather than a postponement.
Shortly after the video surfaced, Van Wagenen apologized in the following statement:
"Jeff Wilpon called Commissioner Manfred this afternoon to notify him that our players voted not to play. They discussed the challenges of rescheduling the game. Jeff proposed an idea of playing the game an hour later. I misunderstood that this was the Commissioner's idea. In actuality, this was Jeff's suggestion. The players had already made their decision so I felt the suggestion was not helpful. My frustration with the Commissioner was wrong and unfounded. I apologize to the Commissioner for my disrespectful comments and poor judgment in inaccurately describing the contents of his private conversation with Jeff Wilpon."
At least six MLB games were postponed Thursday. Three were postponed Wednesday. The NHL postponed its playoff games Thursday and Friday. The NBA will reportedly resume its season this weekend. Teams and leagues have had strong responses to racial injustice and police brutality in the days since Jacob Blake was shot by police in Kenosha, Wisconin Sunday.
The Phillies will return to play Friday on Jackie Robinson Day. "I think Jackie would want us to play tomorrow," Nationals manager Dave Martinez said.