Toronto Blue Jays ace Alek Manoah shot back at those on MLB Network who criticized his physical appearance on Wednesday.
Former MLB catcher and current MLB Network analyst Anthony Recker jabbed at 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 you’re willing to put a little more time in the gym and that you’re gonna be there consistently for a little bit longer,” Recker said. “I still love you.”
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Well, as you might expect, Manoah wasn’t feeling the love. And he’s never been one to shy away from confrontation.
“Hey @Anthony_Recker my job isn’t to please you. You are an outsider you don’t know me or my work ethic. What I do in the gym has clearly worked check the numbers, sucks you can’t say the same for yourself.”
Recker’s stats weren’t the best during his seven years in MLB, hitting .199/.283/.348 in 206 games.
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But that was just the beginning of these Twitter barbs. Recker attempted to apologize to Manoah.
“Don’t let someone throw a video out of context at you and get you upset. You’re an incredible talent man and I’d love to see you make the most of that. I hope to see you continue to get better and be great for a long time. I wish I had even a tiny speck of the talent you do.”
Manoah wasn’t accepting any apologies, highlighting what he’s done in his career thus far as proof that his body isn’t impacting his level of play.
“Youre just like everyone else. Love to talk and then wanna say sorry when you get called out. If you wanna see how an All Star, 1st team All-MLB, and Cy young finalist trains. Come meet me @ManoahDriven.”
In just his second MLB season, Manoah, 24, pitched to a 2.24 ERA in 196.2 innings in one of the hardest divisions in baseball (AL East), while earning his first career All-Star Game invitation as well as finishing third in Cy Young Award voting. He also made the First Team All-MLB starting rotation.
Manoah had some backup, too, in the form of fellow MLB starter Marcus Stroman. He now plays for the Chicago Cubs, but Stroman was once a Blue Jay and barked back at Recker’s comments in his own Twitter post.
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This one was a bit more straightforward, to say the least.
“What a clown you are @Anthony_Recker Poo-poo take from a bum. A nobody who has accomplished nothing in life. Keep your mouth shut and stop talking down on players. @Alek_Manoah6 is one of the best pitchers in baseball. You talk on TV for a living because your game was trash!
“The fact that Recker is even allowed to speak on TV with the career he had is truly comical. The jealousy of these clown media members who couldn’t cut it on the field is hilarious. Bitter little baby boys. Poo-poo careers turned into terrible analysts. S–t is too funny. Lol”
Recker responded to Stroman as well.
“I’m not interested in Twitter battles or spreading hate. My words of Alek on tv weren’t indicative of how I feel about him or what I truly was trying to say. I made a mistake. Would love to get in touch with him to personally solve this. No need to make it worse.”
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Again, Recker’s apology wasn’t 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…yet you’re on MLB Network hating and body shaming one of the best pitchers in baseball. You make zero sense. You’re a clown for that. You can’t grow the game by tearing down its players. Be better or get off TV and go find a hobby.”
Heading into his third season, Manoah has high expectations on a Blue Jays team that’s looking to make it past the wild-card round this time after falling to the Seattle Mariners last year in the postseason. With spring training beginning in two weeks, that will be his focus.
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He clearly isn’t worried about what others are saying.