Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen blasts Rob Manfred on hot mic over social justice gesture

By Matt Johnson
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sport

New York Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen was caught on a hot mic blasting MLB commissioner Rob Manfred for his proposal to hold a staged social justice movement before Thursday’s game.

Van Wagenen, who thought the live stream was over, talked to two other club officials in the room about MLB’s plan to hold a staged protest following the shooting of Jacob Blake. The shooting resulted in several MLB regular-season games and the NBA Playoffs coming to a stop.

New York Mets GM: MLB commissioner Rob Manfred ‘just doesn’t get it.’

In the video, Van Wagenen reveals that Manfred came up with a plan that he believed would be “super powerful” as part of the ongoing demonstrations in sports. Under Manfred’s proposal, the Mets would take the field before first pitch and then depart, before returning an hour later.

The Mets were scheduled to play the Miami Marlins on Thursday, with both teams desperately needing to make up for games lost due to COVID-19 outbreaks. Yet, MLB’s commissioner thought it would be a brilliant move if the Mets walked off the field to appease the cameras, then returned to play an hour later.

New York’s general manager clearly thought the team’s streaming feed wasn’t live. Right before detailing Manfred’s plan, he tells everyone inside “three of us here, can’t leave this room.”

Immediately after explaining the proposed social justice gesture, Van Wagenen ripped the idea and the absurdity of pulling it off then took aim at Manfred.

“They’re not playing,” Van Wagenen said. “But that’s Rob’s instinct and Rob, exactly what you and are talking, at leadership level, he doesn’t get it. He just doesn’t get it.”

At a time when teams and players seemed to be coming together with a joint message, the division that exists in baseball becomes more evident. Manfred has received plenty of criticism in the past, especially from players for how he handled the Houston Astros’ cheating scandal.