Rob Manfred's latest Astros epiphany is a slap in the face to Dodgers fans

Rob Manfred continues to be baseball's biggest villain, especially for Dodgers fans.
World Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Houston Astros - Game Two
World Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Houston Astros - Game Two / Bob Levey/GettyImages

It's already well-documented that the Houston Astros stole a World Series Championship from the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2017. That was the Dodgers' year and they unfortunately succumbed to live video feeds and trash can banging that benefitted the Astros.

If it wasn't painful enough that the Dodgers fell short in the World Series due to the worst cheating scandal in baseball since the 1919 Black Sox, MLB's response to the matter didn't make it any better. The Astros got a slap on the wrist, relatively speaking, with A.J. Hinch, Alex Cora and Carlos Beltran becoming the biggest scapegoats.

Six years later, it's still a controversial topic and, of course, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has to make it even worse. Despite standing by the punishments at the time, Manfred has since come to the epiphany that maybe he should have been more harsh in his rulings.

Uh ... yeah ... you think? We're not sure which is worse: Manfred potentially having an epiphany years later about his mistakes or him potentially pretending like he has remorse just to try to save face amidst all the backlash about the Oakland Athletics. Manfred recently revealed this (unprompted!) in an interview with Sean Gregory of TIME.

"I’m not sure that I would have approached it with giving players immunity. Once we gave players immunity, it puts you in a box as to what exactly you were going to do in terms of punishment. I might have gone about the investigative process without that grant of immunity and see where it takes us. Starting with, I’m not going to punish anybody, maybe not my best decision ever."

Rob Manfred via TIME

Rob Manfred slaps Dodgers fans in the face with comments about Astros' punishment

Look, we cannot go back in time and change how MLB punished the Astros for cheating their way to a World Series. It was a soft punishment at the time and will always be a black mark on Manfred's resume as the commissioner of baseball for as the rest of time.

But to come out and admit that it was the wrong decision only a few years later? When several of those players are still on the Astros? What's even the point of that? It would be one thing if a retired, 90-year-old Manfred admitted that he made a mistake. It would be frustrating, but at least enough time would've passed to ease the pain.

If anything, this admission just over three years after the fact proves Manfred knew at the time that he was probably being too soft on the Astros and went through with it anyway. Not only that, but he had the audacity to defend MLB's decision on the matter to all of the outraged fans who wanted to see rightful punishment.

All Manfred is doing is digging himself a bigger hole -- not just with Dodgers fans, but with fans across the sport. And unfortunately for all of us, it seems like he enjoys playing the role of the villain. The one thing Manfred likes more than his apparent disdain for the game of baseball is being the villain. That has become more than obvious, especially with this latest revelation nobody asked for.