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Rob Manfred Newsbeat

Monday, January 11, 2021

Rob Manfred: MLB teams should plan for spring training to start on time, full 162-game season to be played

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred informed clubs Monday that they should be preparing for spring training to start on time in February and to plan on a full 162-game season being played, three people with direct knowledge of the conference call told USA TODAY Sports.

The people spoke only on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

Major League Baseball was hoping to delay the season by at least a month to provide more time for players and fans to receive COVID-19 vaccinations, enabling fans to get back into ballparks earlier. But the Major League Baseball Players Association vigorously fought it.

MLB does not have the legal right to unilaterally delay the start of the season without approval from the union because of the collective bargaining agreement, and the union made it clear it wouldn’t accept anything less than 100% pay for the season.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 11, 2021 at 07:52 PM | 57 comment(s)
  Beats: rob manfred

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Rob Manfred says MLB will ‘be more aggressive’ about hosting fans during 2021 season

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred is planning to allow fans to attend games during the 2021 season, as long as local government and health officials give the approval, according to The Athletic’s Evan Drellich. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic forced MLB to play the entirety of its 60-game regular season without fans in attendance. The league, however, did permit up to 11,500 fans at the League Championship Series and World Series at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas in October.

In a virtual discussion alongside NBA commissioner Adam Silver and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on Tuesday, Manfred shared insight into the league’s 2021 plans for fans at the ballparks, per The Athletic:

“As we look forward, we will be more aggressive about having fans in ballparks. There were places where we could have had fans this year, and in fact we did have fans for the LCS and the World Series in Texas. Even though local jurisdictions had started to open up, we decided for this year that we would stay empty during the regular season.

“I don’t think that’s a tenable position for us going forward. We’re going to have to allow the clubs to operate safely. We’re obviously going to have league-wide protocols. If local public health authorities allow for fans, I think you’re going to see fans in the ballpark next year. Now, will it be full stadiums? I kind of doubt that. But we do think it’s important, and it’s why we did it in the World Series and the LCS: to get people accustomed to the idea that you can go to these live events with appropriate protocols, pods of people, social distancing, masks, and do it safely.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 12, 2020 at 01:04 PM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: rob manfred

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Rob Manfred booed while presenting World Series trophy to Dodgers; fans confused by speech

MLB’s commissioner paused as he was greeted with jeers amid a postgame ceremony honoring the Dodgers for their first World Series win since 1988. It was clear he recognized the negative response.

The boos continued throughout Manfred’s winding speech, which confused many fans watching from home for its slow, inconsistent cadence. He explained afterward his slurring of words came from technical difficulties.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 28, 2020 at 09:23 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: rob manfred

Monday, October 26, 2020

MLB debt totals $8.3 billion as Manfred mulls options for next season

Major League Baseball’s 30 clubs have amassed an unprecedented $8.3 billion of debt from their various lenders and will post $2.8 billion to $3 billion in operational losses this year, Commissioner Rob Manfred told Sportico Monday in an exclusive interview.

The debt was accrued so the clubs could fund their businesses during this COVID-affected season without fans in the stands and negligible ballpark revenue.

“We are going to be at historic high levels of debt,” Manfred said. “And it’s going to be difficult for the industry to weather another year where we don’t have fans in the ballpark and have other limitations on how much we can’t play and how we can play.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 26, 2020 at 05:52 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: rob manfred

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Baseball fans’ biggest problem with Rob Manfred? He doesn’t appear to be one of them

Now he is pushing to expand the postseason on a permanent basis. How many teams, Rob? Sixteen? Twenty-four? Everyone except the New York Mets and Boston Red Sox? (Manfred claims he grew up a New York Yankees fan.)

He also is considering continuing the ridiculous runner on second base rule in extra innings. Is this Little League? If a game isn’t over after 12 innings, should each team pick a batter for a Home Run Derby? That would be fun, right? It wouldn’t be baseball, but who cares?

At least there won’t be seven-inning doubleheader games — but that has more to do with owners wanting to charge separate admissions when weather forces two games in a day.

Manfred doesn’t have the fortitude to insist on a pitch clock and other serious measures to help the pace of play, but if any gimmicks can make the owners more money (expanded playoffs) or inject artificial excitement into the game (second base rule), he’s all for them.

It’s enough to make real baseball fans miss Selig. For all of his flaws, it was clear he loved the same sport they did.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 24, 2020 at 11:45 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: rob manfred

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Manfred likes larger playoff, runner in extras

“I like the idea of, and I’m choosing my words carefully here, an expanded playoff format,” Manfred said. “I don’t think we would do 16 like we did this year. I think we do have to be cognizant of making sure that we preserve the importance of our regular season. But I think something beyond the 10 that we were at would be a good change.”

With the added runner rule, the longest of 68 games of 10 innings or longer were a pair of 13-inning contests, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

“I think the players like it,” Manfred said. “I think it’s really good from a safety and health perspective that keeps us from putting players in situations where they’re out there too long or in positions they’re not used to playing.”

Union head Tony Clark said it was too soon to commit to changes for 2021. The sport’s labor contract runs through 2021, and the union’s agreement is needed to alter the 2021 structure.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 21, 2020 at 08:52 AM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: rob manfred

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Rob Manfred exclusive: Commissioner says MLB plans to have fans at NLCS, World Series

And now, with the postseason beginning Sept. 29, with an expanded 16-team format that Manfred has no interest in continuing under its current structure, there will be fans to provide authentic crowd noise, beginning with the NLCS on Oct. 12 at 40,300-seat Globe Life Field.

“We are pressing ahead to have fans in Texas,’’ said Manfred, with a ticket sales announcement expected soon. “One of the most important things to our game is the presence of fans. Starting down the path of having fans in stadiums, and in a safe and risk-free environment, is very, very important to our game.’’

Manfred would like the postseason to be expanded from 10 teams in the past to 14 in the future, which was discussed last winter, but not 16. The team with the best record in each league would receive a first-round bye, under MLB’s proposal, while the other two division winners in each league would choose their first-round opponent in the best-of-three-series.

“Look, 16 teams, was a really good solution for the unique environment we had in 2020,’’ Manfred said. “But I want to be clear, when I talked about the expanded playoffs going forward before COVID ever hit, we never talked about 16 teams as a permanent solution. We never talked about more than 14 teams. Those plans addressed marginalizing the value of winning the division, and preserving the competitiveness through the regular season.

“The expanded playoffs cover a vast waterfront, but what we discussed was a very different format than we’re seeing now.’’

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 22, 2020 at 03:32 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus, expanded playoffs, rob manfred

Thursday, September 10, 2020

MLB On The Cusp Of Holding A Monopoly On All Things Baseball

Besides signing some baseball’s for the Hall of Fame, and publicly touting a strong initiative to grow baseball and softball with youth, behind the scenes Manfred started the process of pulling all the league’s divergent business arms under one umbrella. No longer would those seeking to be league sponsors have to go to each division – television, digital, and naming partners – instead he would seek to streamline so that the process would be one-stop shopping. He then pushed to pull MLB Advanced Media, the league’s digital media company out of their Chelsea offices and into the league headquarters. Since the day this process occurred, league executives cited the internal initiative as “One Baseball”. The name clearly showed that making MLB one big family was the direction it needed to take.

I’ve written about One Baseball several times and seeing it unfold, a profile started to emerge where Manfred imbodied the “efficiency and effectivity commissioner” - - a man that could take some of the stodgy business ways and truly bring them into the 21st century. Selig may have been the commissioner to begin moving the league into a CEO-driven paradigm; Manfred embodied it.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 10, 2020 at 10:12 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: one baseball, rob manfred

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen calls comments about Rob Manfred wrong, unfounded

Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen apologized Thursday night, saying he falsely accused commissioner Rob Manfred of proposing a plan that would have had New York players stage a one-hour walkout during their scheduled home game against the Miami Marlins.

Van Wagenen’s comments, in which he criticized the commissioner as someone who “doesn’t get it,” were caught on video and spread on social media earlier Thursday.

But Van Wagenen issued a statement later Thursday night, saying it was actually Mets COO Jeff Wilpon who proposed the walkout idea - and not Manfred.

“Jeff Wilpon called Commissioner Manfred this afternoon to notify him that our players voted not to play,” Van Wagenen said in the statement. “They discussed the challenges of rescheduling the game. Jeff proposed an idea of playing the game an hour later. I misunderstood that this was the Commissioner’s idea. In actuality, this was Jeff’s suggestion. The players had already made their decision so I felt the suggestion was not helpful. My frustration with the Commissioner was wrong and unfounded.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 27, 2020 at 07:45 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: brodie van wagenen, mets, rob manfred

Exclusive: MLB chief Rob Manfred discusses a possible playoff bubble in L.A. and more

Your governing agreement with the minor leagues expires in a month, and the league has proposed eliminating more than three dozen teams. Certainly, those reductions would help efficiency and cost savings for major league owners. But in terms of growing the game, which is one of your priorities, how would a reduction of minor league teams help?

Every plan we have put forward with the minor leagues involved preserving some sort of baseball in every single community that currently has it. I don’t buy the premise of your question. We intend to play baseball in the communities where it exists, and we intend to play baseball in a way that it continues to grow the sport.

So you think college summer leagues would be as effective?

In a lot of ways, I think pro prospect leagues would be every bit as good, if not better and more interesting, than what exists there now.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 27, 2020 at 01:45 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: rob manfred

Sunday, August 02, 2020

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred says ‘we are playing’ but ‘players need to be better’

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred remains confident the 2020 season can continue, telling ESPN’s Karl Ravech on Saturday that “there is no reason to quit now” despite positive coronavirus tests that have led to the postponement of 17 games in 10 days.

“We are playing,” Manfred told Ravech. “The players need to be better, but I am not a quitter in general and there is no reason to quit now. We have had to be fluid, but it is manageable.”

Manfred acknowledged Saturday that not every team might play all 60 games this season, and winning percentage could be used to determine playoff teams.

“We’ve got to be flexible on that,” Manfred told The Associated Press on Saturday. “Look, this is one of the reasons that we revisited the issue off the expanded playoffs. If it turns out that some guys play 60, some guys play 58, they have this new thing called winning percentage. We can sort that out.”

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 02, 2020 at 11:42 PM | 64 comment(s)
  Beats: rob manfred

 

 

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