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Rob Manfred Newsbeat

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 | 15 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

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

Rob Manfred thinks Mike Rizzo was insubordinate with comments

After canceling Monday’s workout, Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said, “We will not sacrifice the health and safety of our players, staff, and their families. Without accurate and timely testing it is simply not safe for us to continue with Summer Camp. Major League Baseball needs to work quickly to resolve issues with their process and their lab. Otherwise, Summer Camp and the 2020 Season are at risk.”

Per Barry Svrluga of The Washington Post, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred considered Rizzo’s statement to be insubordination. The anonymous source Svrluga quoted said, “The commissioner jumped on him for that.”

Rizzo isn’t the only member of the Nationals to criticize MLB’s testing implementation. Reliever Sean Doolittle pointed out yesterday that the Nationals haven’t been given the personal protective equipment (e.g. masks, gloves) they were promised. In a short thread on Twitter, Doolittle wrote, “We need help to make this work. Faster test results, PPE for high risk individuals and players/staff with high risk family members. The individual efforts have been great so far but we can’t rely solely on individuals. The efforts have to be structural as well.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 07, 2020 at 09:47 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: mike rizzo, 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

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Manfred: “We’re Going To Play Baseball In 2020”

Major League Baseball is preparing yet another counter-offer to the Players Association after the MLBPA proposed an 89-game season with prorated salaries yesterday, commissioner Rob Manfred said minutes ago in an appearance on MLB Network (hat tip: Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times, on Twitter). More encouragingly, Manfred emphatically stated: “We’re going to play baseball in 2020 — 100 percent.” The commissioner’s preference remains for a negotiated agreement between the league and union, but Manfred does have the ability to implement a shorter season (at fully prorated salaries) under the standing March agreement.

The details of the forthcoming proposal will be telling. Manfred acknowledged that it’ll be in the “players’ direction” but also suggested that he hopes the union will back down from its insistence on prorated pay. That has been the crux of the players’ entire argument to this point, and it has not seemed likely at all that they’ll be swayed.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 11, 2020 at 12:23 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: rob manfred

 

 

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