MLB Network has cut ties with insider Ken Rosenthal that is believed to be the end result of acrimony that peaked in the summer of 2020 after Rosenthal criticized commissioner Rob Manfred, The Post has learned.
Rosenthal, a top news breaker, was first kept off the air for around three months, according to sources, after he wrote columns in 2020 — with the season in jeopardy due to the pandemic — analyzing Manfred’s handling of the situation for The Athletic.
There was no stated suspension at the time and it went publicly unnoticed.
Rosenthal was still paid, but was put in a months-long penalty box. He did return for the trade deadline, which was pushed to Aug. 31 that season due to COVID-19.
Since then, Rosenthal had been regularly on MLBN, including as late as prior to Christmas on “MLB Tonight,” one of the network’s signature shows. His contract was up at the end of last year.
Rosenthal, 59, remains at Fox Sports, where he is a fixture on its weekly coverage and is a dugout reporter for its top games, including the World Series. He also will continue at The Athletic.
Rosenthal declined to comment.
MLB Network has been changing its lineup over the past year. It previously let go of long-time personalities, including 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,” an MLB spokesman told The Post. “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.”
MLB has other insiders, including Jon Heyman, Tom Verducci, The Post’s Joel Sherman and Jon Morosi.
The network is league-owned. During the lockout between the owners and the players, it has limited live programming. MLB.com, similarly, has gone dark on current events.
MLB Network has had turnover at the top in recent years. Toward the end of last year, Bill Morningstar replaced Rob McGlarry as the president of the network.
In June 2020, Rosenthal’s analysis of Manfred for The Athletic featured some light criticism, but it didn’t appear to delve into anything personal.
In one piece, Rosenthal wrote, “As if the perception that Manfred is beholden to owners and out of touch with players was not bad enough, he was trending on Twitter on Monday after performing a massive flip-flop.”
Since then, Rosenthal’s role was slightly diminished at the network. Now, he’s out entirely.