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Rob Manfred Newsbeat

Monday, October 31, 2022

MLB Gross Revenue Back to Nearly $11 Billion, Manfred Says

“We’re going to be just shy of $11 [billion],” Manfred said when asked if revenues would be back over $10 billion.

The figure reached $10.7 billion in 2019, the last full season played without the COVID-19 restrictions that began in in March 2020. That season was delayed four months, abbreviated to 60 games, and played without fans in the stands…

“Look, I think we’ve had a phenomenal year,” Manfred said. “In September, we saw the benefits of the new playoff format. We had weekend draws we hadn’t seen since 2014. The three-game Wild Card round performed really well on a weekend against football.”

MLB recently struck deals with streaming TV services, Apple for seven years at $85 million a season and Peacock, worth $30 million a year for two seasons. Attendance overall was back to 95% of 2019.

“I’m excited about how it went overall,” Manfred said. “I think the postseason in general has been great. And I look forward to 2023 being even better.”


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 31, 2022 at 11:30 PM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: rob manfred

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Rob Manfred says it ‘just doesn’t look like’ A’s will remain in Oakland, thinks ghost runner is here to stay

During an interview with Chris “Mad Dog” Russo on SiriusXM, Manfred expressed pessimism that the Athletics will be able to figure out a new stadium in Oakland, though he had something different to say about the Tampa Bay Rays’ situation:

“I think the mayor in Oakland [Libby Schaaf] has made a huge effort to try to get it done in Oakland. It just doesn’t look like it’s going to happen ... I’m not positive about it.”

“I think the A’s have proceeded prudently in terms of exploring the Las Vegas alternative, given the lack of pace in Oakland. I think they have to look for an alternative. I see Tampa differently. I think a properly located facility in Tampa, that Tampa’s a viable major league market. I’ve got a lot of faith in [Rays owner] Stu Sternberg. I think they will find a place to get a ballpark built and I think baseball can thrive in Tampa.

When asked if Oakland could leave within the next five years, Manfred said “oh yeah” twice then added “something has to happen, we can’t go five more years in the Coliseum.”


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 30, 2022 at 10:48 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: athletic, rob manfred

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Assessing the state of MLB in the 8th year of Rob Manfred’s tenure

MLB, like all entertainment businesses, is trying to grow revenues and add new fans. One big problem: its paying customer base is shrinking unlike other sports.

MLB’s on pace for its worst attendance season in a year not dramatically affected by COVID since 1995 and 1996, when the sport was coming out of a damaging strike.

MLB attendance peaked in 2007 and has been gradually declining since, and that drop has accelerated in recent years.

From 2007-19, attendance declined by about 1% per year on average, and 14% total. But compared to 2019, the last full season without COVID restrictions, attendance is down 7.5% this year.

At the moment, attendance per game is down 13.6% since Manfred’s first full year in 2015.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 21, 2022 at 01:24 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: rob manfred

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Rob Manfred called out by advocacy group after ‘rejecting premise’ that minor leaguers aren’t paid living wage

On Tuesday, Manfred spoke with reporters prior to the All-Star Game in Los Angeles, and was asked to explain why many minor-league players are paid below minimum wage. Manfred “rejected” the premise.

“I kind of reject the premise of the question that minor-league players are not paid a living wage,” Manfred said (via Baseball America). “I think that we’ve made real strides in the last few years in terms of what minor-league players are paid. Even putting to one side the signing bonuses that many of them have received, they’ve received housing, which is obviously another form of compensation, so I just reject the premise of the question. I reject the premise that they are not paid a living wage.”

Manfred is not blessed with great PR skills and rejecting the premise that minor leaguers are not paid a living wage only figures to inflame players. Advocates for Minor Leaguers, a nonprofit organization working to improve conditions for minor leaguers, released the following statement after Manfred spoke Tuesday:

“Most Minor League baseball players work second jobs because their annual salaries are insufficient to make ends meet. The commissioner makes an annual salary of $17.5 million. His suggestion that Minor League pay is acceptable is both callous and false.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 19, 2022 at 04:19 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: minor league pay, rob manfred

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 | 48 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

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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