Cubs News: Steven Souza isn’t happy with Rob Manfred

Steven Souza Jr. #21, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Steven Souza Jr. #21, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Cubs outfielder Steven Souza Jr. is the latest player angry with the league.

The start of a truncated MLB season brought hope along with excitement for Cubs players and fans alike. Unfortunately, in the wake of a national pandemic, the league has already borne witness to much upheaval and players are not happy with how things are progressing.

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Since Opening Day a couple of weeks ago, multiple teams have fallen victim to the coronavirus. The Miami Marlins have had 20 members, including 18 players, test positive. This week news broke surrounding the St. Louis Cardinals and the double-digit cases their club is facing, including seven players.

Cubs outfielder Steven Souza Jr. is the latest player in baseball to voice his frustrations surrounding MLB’s approach. The veteran made clear how he feels about commissioner Rob Manfred and the lack of safety in the world of COVID-19.

Joining the Tiki & Tierney show on Monday, Souza gave his thoughts about the league and, more specifically, Manfred and what it’s come down to within the sport.

"“I’m probably going to be a little biased here, but I just don’t think we’ve handled this since the beginning very well. I don’t think what Manfred has done for the sport has been very good. I don’t think the way that everything was publicly humiliated was good. I just don’t think it’s been good.”"

Speaking to ESPN’s Karl Ravech, in a Sports Illustrated piece from Stephanie Apstein, Manfred went on record to say how “the players need to be better,” calling the situation “manageable.” As it were, he feels the need to cancel the season is not quite there, but, in Souza’s case, echoing his feelings towards the distrust from Manfred makes it quite clear. Souza went on to say during the Tiki & Tierney show:

"“I’m embarrassed. I’m embarrassed as a player to watch this take place because when I leave this game, I want to leave it for the generations and we do this for the fans, and there’s just been so much distraction and so much hidden agendas in all these discussions that it’s almost been just embarrassing, like I said. I don’t know any other way to put it.”"

While it is clear it does take the effort from both sides of the league, players, and leadership, it has solely come down to Manfred from the beginning of how his lack of discipline in this whole thing has led clubs sometimes to take more of a lax approach to the pandemic. It starts with Manfred, and his lack of guile towards the safety and well-being of the league as a whole has created this present culture.

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Souza has become a sort of spokesperson for the league and the players, making his strong opinions on the matter known from the beginning. He, like so many, wants to play baseball but understands safety is tantamount to that happening. Souza is the guy MLB needs right now, and, thankfully, he has not been afraid to step into that role to represent his side with strong leadership.