MLB Network's reveal show for their Top 10 Pitchers Right Now aired Wednesday night, and brought far more controversy than an innocuous list ever should.
First, the fan ballot dropped, which snubbed Gerrit Cole entirely (and gleefully), sneaking Kevin Gausman into the mix over the Yankees ace. That was bad enough ... before the real, expert list dropped hours later, which also didn't include Cole and featured Carlos Rodón in the No. 3 spot, a selection we're not sure how to comprehend. Two spots above Sandy Alcantara!
Hey, embrace debate, right? It's a pitcher's league right now, post-2019 juiced ball. Lots of great names to choose from. Sometimes, the chips fall in strange spots because of an overload of talent. At least the network's anchors didn't make the reveal show all about themselves and just let the list speak for itself.
(Checks Earpiece) ...Oh. Hmm. I see.
Apparently, ex-Mets catcher and current analyst Anthony Recker chose a segment on Blue Jays ace Alek Manoah to implore him to "show [him] you're willing to put in a little more time in the gym," a critique the right-hander did not take to kindly (no kidding!).
Blue Jays RHP Alek Manoah claps back at Anthony Recker. Maybe Yankees fans will learn something?
Recker, worth a difficult-to-believe 1.5 WAR over the course of seven seasons in the bigs, is going to have to wear this one. Manoah's right. This was out of place and uncalled for.
But some Yankees fans taking a victory lap here have to reassess. When someone's burner account's burner account tweets "Eat a McChicken" in the comments of a random Manoah tweet, the likes and retweets flow! But when Recker does it on national television, you have a problem with it? Perhaps -- and this is mindblowing -- we don't need to fat shame Manoah ever? Plenty of other ways to get under his skin. Apparently, Gerrit Cole lives rent free under there simply for existing.
Recker only dug himself a deeper hole with his response, where he tried to claim that it was an "out of context" video, insinuating he wasn't taking a dig at Manoah's weight.
Except he clearly was, considering ... what else could that mean? And why didn't he tell any of the other young pitchers mentioned in the segment to stay in the gym?
Manoah wasn't buying it.
Manoah is in the early portion of his career as a potential all-time Yankees enemy, and his remarkable 5.9-WAR season in 2022 should be the beginning of a very unique career. There aren't many pitchers like Manoah, and it's working for him so far.
As for Recker? Maybe he should spend a little more time in the dressing room getting those reps.