Rob Manfred might want to use some reading glasses the next time he announces the MLB Draft. The league commissioner made an embarrassing mistake while announcing the first-round pick for the Oakland Athletics on Sunday night.
The A’s selected shortstop Jacob Wilson, who played college baseball at Grand Canyon University. But when Manfred made the announcement, he mispronounced the name of the school. He referred to it as “Grand Union University.”
Honestly, it’s kind of fitting that it happened to the Oakland Athletics, right? Considering the potential move to Las Vegas and the poor 2023 season, this was just par for the course.
"With the 6th pick of the 2023 MLB Draft, the Oakland Athletics select Jacob Wilson, a SS from Grand Union University."— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) July 9, 2023
We're guessing the Commish doesn't get to Arizona that often. pic.twitter.com/3PuneQHHS3
Manfred probably just combined the words “canyon” and “university” and misspoke. It happens to the best of us. But because he’s MLB’s commissioner — and not a very popular individual — nobody is going to cut the guy any slack.
Fortunately for Manfred, the MLB Draft isn’t exactly the most popular amongst fans. It’ll probably make the rounds on Twitter for a few hours before people lose interest.
But it was still a funny moment … and an embarrassing one for the commish.
Sunday night’s flub from Manfred won’t help his image in Oakland. The city, and A’s fans everywhere, are furious with the commissioner over his comments about the team’s potential move to Vegas.
Essentially, Manfred called out A’s fans for a lack of support over the years.
“My comment about Oakland was that I feel sorry for the fans, that it was my initial and — preference that we find a solution in Oakland,” Manfred said. “The comment that I made about the fans on a particular night was taken out of context of those two larger remarks: I feel sorry for the fans. We hate to move. We did everything we could possibly do to keep the club in Oakland. Unfortunately, one night doesn’t change a decade worth of inaction.”
Hard to imagine why that didn’t sit well with fans, isn’t it?
What are the Oakland A’s getting with their first-round selection? They’re hoping a franchise-type player.
While at Grand Canyon, Wilson set program records for career hits (224), career RBIs (155) and single-season batting average (.411). In 2023, he was a consensus All-American shortstop after totaling 79 hits with six home runs and 61 RBIs.
In 192 plate appearances this past year, Wilson drew 19 walks and was struck out just five times. He also recorded 12 doubles and four triples for Grand Canyon.
Wilson also owned a fielding percentage of .948 at the shortstop position, making just nine errors on the year.