Welcome to Deadspin IDIOT OF THE YEAR parties! Numbers 50 to 11 are available for you to enjoy here. And our top 10 so far:
10. Thom Brennaman
9. Ted Cruz
8. Rob Manfred
In the beginning of this venture, we said that Major League Baseball was, collectively, one of the most sensational idiots of the year. The league had suffered numerous scandals involving individual players and / or entire franchises, and had never been able to divert attention from the actual baseball scandals played. MLB’s dirty laundry was only forgotten by the general public when a newer and brighter scandal made its way onto the scene.
The man in charge of Major League Baseball, Commissioner Rob Manfred, is entirely responsible for all these scandals. Yes, the Astros, the Red Sox and presumably many other teams have cheated with their various cartel theft scandals, but has Manfred severely punished these teams for damaging the integrity of the game? No. The Astros have had some front office suspensions, been stripped of some draft picks and fined $ 5 million, which is roughly the price equivalent of a Nachos Bell Grande at Taco Bell for you or for me. The Red Sox had theirs suspended team manager and videographer. That was all. They both got away with slaps on the wrist, so why so many MLB fans were still mad at the Astros and the Red Sox even after the “punishment” was handed out.
What did the fans more or less forget? The Spider Tack scandal. Dozens of pitchers, potentially hundreds, were using illegal goo to increase their grip on the baseball and produce more spin. These too weren’t just nameless pitchers. There were former Cy Young winners involved in the scandal: Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, Félix Hernández and many other major Major League Baseball pitchers have been named in various relationships revolved around illegal goos since long before Spider Tack, the brand, became a problem. This simply brought all these past relationships back to the surface.
What made fans forget about sticky substances? When another former Cy Young winner involved in the Spider Tack scandal, Trevor Bauer, received several sexual misconduct allegations against him.
All of this and we didn’t even go into it Marcell Ozuna, Ramon Laureano, Cleveland Guardians, The Atlanta Braves “tomahawk shot”, or using MLB secretly two different styles of baseball, because those were minors in the face of everything else the league has endured this season.
Major League Baseball had an incredible opportunity to broaden its audience this season with the emergence of two big, young international superstars like Shohei Ohtani and Juan Soto, each of whom came in first and second place respectively in the vote. MVP in their respective leagues. Instead, MLB found itself drowning in a myriad of scandals that Manfred consistently refused to take responsibility for. Shameful.