MLB Network Cuts Ties With Ken Rosenthal Over Criticism Of Commissioner Rob Manfred

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Ken Rosenthal, one of baseball’s most prominent reporters, is out at MLB Network, stemming from criticism of commissioner Rob Manfred.

Rosenthal, 59, had been at the network for the last 13 years, serving in a variety of roles. He’s also currently employed by Fox Sports and The Athletic. The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand reports that Rosenthal last appeared on the network prior to Christmas on MLB Tonight.

An MLB spokesman released a statement to The Post, saying a turnover in the talent roster is normal every year. MLB Network previously cut ties with popular personalties Chris Rose and Eric Byrnes.

“As MLB Network continues to look at fresh ways to bring baseball to our viewers, there is a natural turnover in our talent roster that takes place each year,” the spokesman said. “Ken played a significant part at MLB Network over the last 13 years. From spring training to the winter meetings, we thank him for his work across MLB Network’s studio, game and event programming, and wish him the very best going forward.” 

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in the summer of 2020, Rosenthal penned multiple columns for The Athletic that questioned Manfred’s decision making. With the headline, “Manfred must strike a deal with the players or ruin his legacy”, Rosenthal took aim at Manfred’s failure at the time to come to a deal with the MLBPA to begin the 2020 season.

A deal was struck later on, although it only allowed for a 60-game accelerated season to be played. Per Marchand, Rosenthal was kept off the air for three months, returning just in time for the network’s Trade Deadline special on Aug. 31. Rosenthal was reportedly not suspended and his absence went publicly unnoticed.

As the MLB is now a month into its lockout with the MLBPA, MLB Network has limited its live programming and is inactive on current events.

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Written by Nick Geddes

Nick Geddes is a 2021 graduate of the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. A life-long sports enthusiast, Nick shares a passion for sports writing and is proud to represent OutKick.


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  1. None of the three commissioners for the three major pro sports – NFL – NBA- MLB – are HoF candidates. Certainly their loyalty is to their owners. Thats understood. But none of these three exude any “I’m In Charge” leadership acumen.

  2. I’ve heard firsthand stories about how huge of a feminine hygiene product Manfred is off camera to people he works with, so this doesn’t surprise me. That butthurt reaction tells me Rosenthal must have been right over the target about Manfred in his articles. Apparently MLB Network is supposed to only be the propaganda wing of MLB.

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