Toronto Blue Jays ace Alek Manoah responded to those on MLB Network who criticized his physical appearance on Wednesday.
Former MLB catcher and current MLB Network analyst Anthony Recker slammed Manoah’s 6-foot-6, 285-pound frame during a segment, saying he’d like to see him slim down.
«Alek Manoah. I love you Alek, just show me that you’re willing to spend a little more time in the gym and that you’ll be there consistently for a little longer,» Recker said. «I still love you.»
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Well, as expected, Manoah wasn’t feeling the love. And he’s never been one to shy away from confrontation.
«Hey @Anthony_Recker my job is not to please you. You’re an outsider, you don’t know me or my work ethic. What I do in the gym has clearly worked, check the numbers, it sucks, you can’t say the same for yourself.»
Recker’s stats weren’t the best during his seven years in the MLB, hitting .199/.283/.348 in 206 games.
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But that was just the beginning of these Twitter barbs. Recker tried to apologize to Manoah.
«Don’t let someone throw a video out of context at you and upset you. You are an incredibly talented man and I would love to see you make the most of it. I hope to see you continue to improve and be great for a long time to come. I wish I had even a little speck of the talent you have».
Manoah did not accept any apology and highlighted what he has done in his career so far as proof that his body is not affecting his level of play.
«You’re just like everyone else. I love to talk and then I want to say sorry when they call you. If you want to see how an All Star, 1st team All-MLB and Cy young finalist train, come meet me @ManoahDriven.»
In just his second season in MLB, the 24-year-old Manoah pitched to a 2.24 ERA in 196.2 innings in one of baseball’s toughest divisions (AL East), while earning the first All-Star invitation of his career. and finished third in Cy Young. Prize voting. He was also part of the All-MLB First Team starting rotation.
Manoah also had some backing, in the form of fellow MLB starter Marcus Stroman. He now plays for the Chicago Cubs, but Stroman was once a Blue Jay and responded to Recker’s comments in his own Twitter post.
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This one was a little more straightforward, to say the least.
«What a clown you are @Anthony_Recker Poo-poo straight out of a bum. A nobody who has accomplished nothing in life. Keep your mouth shut and stop badmouthing the players. @Alek_Manoah6 is one of the best pitchers in baseball. You talk on TV for a living because your game was rubbish!
«The fact that Recker is allowed to speak on TV with the career he had is really funny. The jealousy of these clown media members who couldn’t make it on the field is hilarious. Bitter little baby boys. Poo-poo careers turned into terrible analysts. Shit is too funny. Hahaha.»
Recker also responded to Stroman.
«I’m not interested in Twitter battles or spreading hate. My words to Alek on TV were not indicative of how I feel about him or what he was really trying to say. I made a mistake. I’d love to get in touch with him to resolve this personally. There’s no need to make it worse.»
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Again, Recker’s apology was not what Stroman was looking for. He shared the same sentiment as Manoah: Recker said it, and that’s all that matters.
«You’re not interested in spreading hate…but you’re on the MLB Network hating and shaming one of the best pitchers in baseball. You don’t make any sense. You’re a clown for that. You can’t grow the game by tearing down his players. Be better or get off TV and find a hobby.»
Heading into his third season, Manoah has high expectations for a Blue Jays team looking to advance to the wild-card round this time after losing to the Seattle Mariners last year in the postseason. With spring training starting in two weeks, that will be his focus.
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It is clear that he does not care what others say.