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Rob Manfred Newsbeat

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Rob Manfred wants you to know: He doesn’t hate baseball, he wants to save it

Manfred gets knocked for things that are arguably out of his control. He also gets crushed for his actions—or inaction—during some of MLB’s trickiest crises, including the steroids investigation he oversaw before he became commissioner and the major cheating scandal under his watch that made a mockery of the integrity of the game—and a World Series. Some players say they don’t trust the commissioner to have the best interests of the game at heart.

I asked Manfred to name the biggest mistake he’s made—one decision he’d like to have back. He laughed. “I have to narrow it down to one?” he said. “You know, I think people who can’t admit they’ve made mistakes, particularly in a job like this, are a little dangerous.”

Manfred insists he’s trying to do the opposite of ruin baseball. His goal, he says, is to revolutionize the American game most resistant to innovation by pushing through rules changes to speed things up, add more action and, ultimately, attract more fans. Critics counter that his push to hurry baseball along with “ghost runners,” and his push for pitch clocks, only proves how much he hates the game.

“Yeah, here’s the problem,” Manfred says. “When you acknowledge there’s something wrong with the game, that turns you into a hater of baseball.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 29, 2022 at 10:19 AM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: rob manfred

Thursday, June 16, 2022

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred says Tampa Bay Rays, Oakland A’s need new ballpark deals soon

Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland Athletics need to reach new ballpark deals soon and left open the possibility of considering relocation if agreements are not struck.

“There is urgency with respect to Tampa,” Manfred said Thursday during a news conference following an owners meeting. “There needs to be a resolution in the Tampa Bay region for the Rays.”

Tampa Bay’s lease at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, where the team has played since its inaugural season in 1998, expires after the 2027 season. The Rays said in January that MLB had rejected the team’s plan to split its season between Florida and Montreal.

“Obviously, the end of that lease is a hard deadline, but you need to take into account that stadiums take a little bit of time to build, right?” Manfred said. “So we are getting to the point where wherever it is in the region that has an interest in having 162 baseball games, they need to get to it, get with the club—I know the Rays are anxious to get something done—and see if a deal can be made.”

Asked whether he was considering relocation, Manfred responded: “Right now, I’m focused on Tampa,” putting emphasis on “right now” and later adding he was referring to the region, not the specific side of the bay. “I think a great man once said, all good things must end at some point. And but right now we’re focused on Tampa.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 16, 2022 at 09:57 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, rays, rob manfred

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Rob Manfred and M.L.B. Seek Consistency on Baseballs

While it was reported by Business Insider that two distinct baseballs were used during games in 2021, Manfred said that changes were implemented in the ball used in major league parks last season and that the league had been upfront about the modifications: He repeatedly cited a report the league had commissioned to study the ball, which found the top concern was improving consistency.

“The change we made in ’21 was intended to, and did, have the effect of centering the baseball in the range of specifications much more tightly,” Manfred said.

As had been reported, the league, which owns a minority stake in Rawlings, the exclusive manufacturer of the baseballs, experimented with humidors last season, testing them in “outlying” markets in terms of atmospheric conditions. Based on those results, humidors were installed at all parks for 2022. No other changes were implemented to the baseballs, all of which were made with the same specifications as 2021, according to the league.
Addressing the safety issue expressed by Mets pitcher Chris Bassitt and others, Manfred pointed out that while the number of hit basemen was not up overall — though it was for the Mets — league officials continued to seek a middle ground with the players on gripping the ball. The goal, he said, is finding a way to make pitchers more comfortable on the mound without returning to products, like Spider Tack, that are viewed by many as performance-enhancers because they allow pitchers to grip the ball better and spin it faster.

“We have two products out there that we’re testing, with both major league and minor league players, designed to deal with the grip issue,” Manfred said. “It’s two different approaches in terms of what’s better and more functional for players.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 10, 2022 at 11:15 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: juiced baseballs, rob manfred

Friday, February 11, 2022

Inside The Numbers: Manfred Claims Investing In Stock Market Better Than Return On MLB Club Sales

In 2019, just before the pandemic struck, the annual Forbes valuations of the 30 clubs noted how incredibly lucrative owning an MLB franchise is.

“As for baseball’s P&L statement, by our count, the 30 MLB teams generated record average operating income (in the sense of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) of $40 million during the 2018 season, 38% more than the previous year,” current colleague Michael Ozanian and former colleague Kurt Badenhausen wrote. “[In 2018] revenue increased 4.8%, to an average of $330 million per team, while player costs (including signing bonuses and benefits) remained flat at $157 million.”

The graph in the story showed average operating income – a form of profits – rising from $21 million in 2014 to $39.7 million in 2018 – a span of just four years.

But what of the claim about the straight sale? Could taking the money and investing in, say, the S&P 500 yield a better return? A look at several recent sales shows very much otherwise.

Calculating the profits of the $2.48 billion sale of the New York Mets from Sterling Equities to Steven Cohen is hard to calculate. Sterling’s majority purchase was done over years. But taking a look at the three others around that sale should leave little doubt that Sterling Equities made more than investing in the stock market.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 11, 2022 at 10:07 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: rob manfred

Monday, January 03, 2022

Ken Rosenthal out at MLB Network due to previous criticism of Rob Manfred

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.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 03, 2022 at 06:23 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: ken rosenthal, rob manfred

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Rob Manfred admits MLB never intended to play more than 60 games

When asked to rate the job he did during the negotiating process, Manfred quickly veered to the following.

“The reality is we weren’t going to play more than 60 games no matter how the negotiations with the players went, or any other factor,” Manfred told Patrick. “I think this is the one thing we come back to every single day: we’re trying to manage something that has proven to be unpredictable and unmanageable. I know it hasn’t looked particularly pretty in spots, but having said that, if we can pull off this 60-game season, I think it was the best we were going to do for our fans given the course of the virus.

“It’s the calendar. We’re playing 60 games in 63 days right now. I don’t see, given the reality of the health situation over the past few weeks, how we were going to get going any faster than the calendar we’re on right now. No matter what the state of those negotiations were.”

For something so unpredictable, Manfred seemed pretty convinced that the coronavirus would only give MLB a 60-game window.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 01, 2020 at 07:59 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: rob manfred

Monday, June 15, 2020

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred now less confident about 2020 season

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred told ESPN on Monday he’s “not confident” there will be a 2020 baseball season and that “as long as there’s no dialogue” with the MLB Players Association, “that real risk is going to continue.”

In a conversation with Mike Greenberg for ESPN’s “The Return of Sports” special, Manfred walked back comments made to ESPN last week, when he said “unequivocally we are going to play Major League Baseball this year” and pegged the likelihood at “100%.”

“I’m not confident. I think there’s real risk; and as long as there’s no dialogue, that real risk is gonna continue,” Manfred said when asked if he was confident there would be a season.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 15, 2020 at 05:02 PM | 86 comment(s)
  Beats: rob manfred



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