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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Jeremy Guthrie: Let’s Make International Baseball Awesome

Step 1: Use the World Cup as the model
The World Baseball Classic is great, but who wouldn’t want to see it go to the next level and approach the hype of soccer’s World Cup? Right now, the WBC takes place in March during spring training, so the best players in the world have a bunch of easy (and good) excuses for why they can’t participate. As commissioner of MLB, I want to grow the game globally by showcasing the sport and giving players from around the world the chance to compete against the best talent. The only way to do that is to give the world a reason to stop what they’re doing for a week-and-a-half and watch the absolute best of the best compete at the highest level.

So we’re moving the tournament to July when everyone is in peak form. Once every four years, we’ll substitute the traditional All-Star week for the World Cup of Baseball. Just like the NHL does for the Olympics, we’re putting the season on a very slight hold. I can hear the complaints already, “But that’s too long of a break! What am I going to do?” Here’s an idea: Take batting practice. Play catch with your kid. Take a SUMMER vacation. Do whatever you want. You’ve been playing baseball every day for five months straight. You could use a break.

Once every four years, we’ll substitute the traditional All-Star week for the World Cup of Baseball.

My proposal requires only nine days. Like the soccer World Cup, we’ll select one host country for every tournament. To make things more competitive, we’ll narrow down the WBC field from 16 teams to eight through pre-qualifying rounds during spring training (if Australia or Italy doesn’t make it, it’s just more incentive for them to qualify for the next World Cup). When the action picks up in July, we’ll play traditional round-robin groups to get us to a Final Four. The semis will be single elimination, but the Finals will be a best-of-three series. This will give the Finals more of a traditional baseball feel with a series, versus a single game to decide a World Champion.

 


Friday, February 06, 2015

MLB to talk betting with owners

New commissioner Rob Manfred says it’s time for Major League Baseball to give “fresh consideration” to an issue it has shunned for decades—legalized sports betting.

“Gambling in terms of our society has changed its presence on legalization,” Manfred said Thursday on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines,” “and I think it’s important for there to be a conversation between me and the owners about what our institutional position will be.”

For decades, baseball’s position on sports betting has been one of utter disdain. Manfred’s comments were tempered—especially compared to NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s call for federal legalization—but represent a dramatic shift from MLB’s longstanding staunch opposition.

 

Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: February 06, 2015 at 11:00 AM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: commissioner, gambling

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Manfred talks pace, players and plans as he takes office | FOX Sports

Ken Rosenthal sits down with Commissioner Manfred.

Link to video

Jim Furtado Posted: January 29, 2015 at 10:32 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: commissioner

Monday, January 26, 2015

New MLB commissioner Rob Manfred’s top five priorities - ESPN

More about Manfred’s plans.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 26, 2015 at 08:23 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: commissioner

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Bring Back Selig - New Commissioner Manfred is a Moron - Halos Heaven

While I agree that banning shifts and the implementation of a clock (instead of simply enforcing rules on batter and pitchers) aren’t needed, this is a little over the top.
(Edited after posting my comment too quickly. Jim)

Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2015 at 05:46 PM | 475 comment(s)
  Beats: commissioner, rob manfred

Friday, January 23, 2015

Neyer: That time Bud Selig yelled at me

I let the machine pick up, and was more than a little bemused to hear this: Rob, this is Commissioner Selig. I read your column on ESPN and wanted to talk to you about it. When you get a chance, please call me at …”

Selig clearly had a print-out of my ESPN.com column at hand, probably with the offending passages highlighted by a flunky. And he spent the next half-hour or so simply going through the passages, and telling me exactly how I’d gotten each one so horribly wrong. A few times, I tried to interject with my questions. He wasn’t having any of it, not even a little. I think it’s probably safe to say that Selig didn’t respond, or really react at all, to a single thing I said. He was the High Commissioner of Baseball, Lord of Lords, and I was nothing.

When finally he’d finished haranguing me, I believe he did sign off civilly. But it’s certainly the most frustrating conversation in my professional life, to this day. And I probably was less well-disposed toward Selig than I’d been before.

I probably became even less well-disposed a few weeks later, when the word came down from above: Lay off Commissioner Bud. Oh, I wasn’t told I couldn’t criticize him. Just that I couldn’t do it with such obvious relish.

Still, seemed petty at the time (and still does). I wasn’t the only one, either. I know other writers who’d gotten calls from Selig, and I know other writers who’d been told by their bosses to take it easy on the poor old Commissioner.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: January 23, 2015 at 09:00 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: black hand, bud selig, commissioner

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Bud Selig: The Greatest Commissioner in the History of Baseball | HardballTalk

Craig Calcaterra’s take on Bug Selig’s tenure as Commissioner.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2015 at 07:16 AM | 205 comment(s)
  Beats: bud selig, commissioner

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Pace of game on agenda at this week’s baseball owners’ meetings - Newsday

I hope nobody gets arrested at the party.

This week’s quarterly meetings for the 30 MLB owners will double as a retirement party for Bud Selig, whose 23-year tenure as commissioner officially ends Jan. 25.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 14, 2015 at 09:03 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball owners, bud selig, commissioner

 

 

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