Ian Happ on Bose headphones, note from Rob Manfred: 'A gesture that’s appreciated, I guess, and maybe a step in the right direction'


(670 The Score) As MLB players arrived to their clubhouses for Opening Day last week, they were greeted by packages at their locker stalls.

Each player received a gift box and letter from MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, which contained Bose headphones and a “note of appreciation” for their work. The gift came after the league endured a 99-day work stoppage that forced the 2022 regular season to start a week late.

Cubs outfielder Ian Happ, who serves as the team’s players’ union representative, told the Dan Bernstein Show on Monday that Manfred’s gifts were welcomed but there needs to be more.

“Those are still sitting in the locker,” Happ said. “A gesture that’s appreciated, I guess, and maybe a step in the right direction. I don’t know that a bunch of guys across the league were jumping up and down, but it’s a step in the right direction. Maybe if we have a lot more of those steps and more of an effort that way, we’ll be in a better spot five years from now.”

Manfred was at the center of the MLB lockout, which lasted from Dec. 2 until a deal was struck March 10. The league’s commissioner since 2015, Manfred is considered unpopular by both players and the public.

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After attempts at a deal fell short by March 1 – and Manfred announced the MLB season wouldn't start on time – Cubs pitcher Marcus Stroman tweeted “Manfred gotta go.”

Following the end of the lockout, Manfred acknowledged he must work to regain the trust of MLB’s players and fans.

“As we get ready to start a new season, I wanted to take a moment to send a note of appreciation,” Manfred wrote. “Being a Major Leaguer is an extraordinary accomplishment that beyond your remarkable talent shows your dedication to this great game. Along with our clubs, I’m committed to working together with all players to grow the sport. I’m excited about the opportunities that lie ahead and by working together, I know we can bring the game to new heights.

“Please accept this gift as a small gesture of my appreciation for the hard work that comes with being a Major League and your respect for our incredible fans. Thank you for everything you do in a game that has such a rich history and deep meaning to our fans in the U.S. and around the world. Wishing you the best of luck for a successful season.”