Bill Madden: Rob Manfred not satisfied with Jim Crane and Astros' failed apology

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To Houston owner Jim Crane, the Commissioner of Baseball is panning your performance at the Astros’ “cheating mea culpa” press conference in West Palm Beach, Fla., Thursday.

Rob Manfred admitted he wasn’t having a good day — or good week for that matter — when I talked to him by phone Friday about the continuing fallout from the Astros cheating scandal. Much as he felt he had meted out the stiffest penalties he could have — suspending Astros GM Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch, fining the organization the maximum $5 million and depriving them of four draft picks — Manfred is getting hammered everywhere for not coming down harder on Crane and for not doing anything to at least publicly diminish the Astros’ 2017 World Series championship.

And Crane has not helped him by continuing to show no remorse while defending his players — as he did again Thursday when he said, “in our opinion (the Astros cheating) didn’t impact the game.”

“Let me say this,” Manfred said, “it is important for me to have the Astros players and the entire organization make sure the fans of Houston and the fans all over the country know that they did something wrong and they apologize for it.”

Crane, who also said Thursday the Astro players should not be punished for the failures of leadership from Luhnow and Hinch, might maintain they’ve already done that. But it is important to know Manfred was saying this Friday — the day after their press conference. Clearly, he is not satisfied the organization (Crane) has shown proper remorse or taken sufficient accountability for their actions.


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