In a video posted to the team's website – and deleted soon afterwards – New York Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen was caught on camera having a candid conversation with two other people about Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred and the league's handling of protests.
Van Wagenen says that Manfred suggested staging a gesture before Thursday night's game against the Miami Marlins – but ultimately playing the game – as others around the league have opted not to play Wednesday and Thursday in protest following the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
"Baseball is trying to come up with a solution, saying 'you know what would be super powerful,' " Van Wagenen says to his colleagues off camera, before noting that the information was to stay with "the three of us here – it can't leave this room."
Van Wagenen goes on to say he was told: "You know it would be really great if you just have them all take the field, then they leave the field and then they come back and play at 8:10."
Here’s the full, audio-boosted 2:20 of the Mets/Manfred/Van Wagenen stream, there’s about 20 seconds of blank air that I cut out at the end pic.twitter.com/ALHfYZCQQ3
Someone off camera asks: "Who said that?"
Van Wagenen answers "Rob" before going on to say that "with (Mets owner) Jeff (Wilpon), scheduling is going to be a nightmare, there's so much at stake."
The team's GM says he responded to the owner: "I said 'Jeff, that's not happening. They're not playing.'"
Says someone off camera: "They're not dealing with reality."
"But that's Rob's instinct," Van Wagenen says, pointing to someone off camera, noting it was "exactly what you and I were talking about."
"At leadership level he doesn't get it. He just doesn't get it."
The conversation continues with Van Wagenen updating colleagues on the status of discussions between Mets and Marlins players as to whether they would play Thursday.
"Jeff wants to appease Rob," says someone off camera.
Van Wagenen responds: "Jeff wants to support the players first and foremost. But he has to be the messenger for Rob to at least throw that to us. I told Jeff 'that's not happening, Jeff – these guys aren't playing.' I just stopped it there, I wasn't even going to take it to (Mets' MLBPA representative) Michael (Conforto)."
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