Home US Sports MLB The Game Going Forward With Rob Manfred

The Game Going Forward With Rob Manfred

With the election of Rob Manfred to replace Bud Selig as Commissioner of Baseball, it is a good time to take a minute and look at the future of baseball.

The Office of the Commissioner simultaneously has enormous potential, but little power. Without support from the owners, nearly nothing will get done without Rob Manfred.

Selig was excellent at marshaling a majority of team owners behind his propositions and while Manfred does not necessarily posses the same skills, much of the innovative nature of recent baseball will continue.

First let us look at what has happened in the last two decades under Bud Selig. Interleague play was introduced, revenue sharing began, the wild card was created and then expanded, the 1994 players’ strike occurred, and replay capability was added.

While all of these issues are highly contentious (with the possible exception of interleague play), it is undeniable that Mr. Selig raised the profile and revenue of the league. This is the challenge that has been passed to Rob Manfred. Selig did good work on that front, but baseball continues to lose market share to other major sports, particularly among young, minority or foreign audiences.

So with that in mind, lets explore some possible changes to the game in the next few decades.

Dealing with the PED Scandals:

One thing that Bud Selig was heavily faulted for was his handling of PED users. All baseball history between 1991 and 2003 is now considered highly suspect, with some claiming that upwards of 40% of all players were using some sort of performance enhancing drug.

While some major names such as Ryan Braun, Nelson Cruz and Alex Rodriguez continue to be associated with ongoing or recent usage, the bulk of the PED era has passed. The question is now how to move forward. With a new commissioner and a fairly broad mandate to fix the problem, expect to see more robust measures put in place accompanied with a well-defined punishment program that may include extremely harsh penalties.

The more interesting question regarding PEDs is the treatment of those who have admitted to usage in the past, particularly those who hold monumental records and will certainly be considered for the Hall of Fame.

The earlier players from this era such as Mark McGwire have already been considered many times and are unlikely to be elected before their window expires, but more recent players such as Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens still have a solid chance (each received ~30% of votes on the 2014 ballot).

Recent changes to the voting rules shorted their window by 5 years, but perhaps Manfred will devise a strategy for dealing with the legacy of these players that will honor their contributions, while highlighting their shortcomings.

Pace of the Game:

The chief complaint of non-baseball fans or those who only sporadically watch the game is the slow pace and long game length. While diehard fans rarely complain, they are often absorbed in nuances that new fans neither see nor appreciate.

This is cited as one of the major obstacles to attracting new fans. The question is, whether the game can be shortened, or the pace increased without alienating existing fans.

Writing out all of the proposals for this would take up way more space than I am willing to dedicate to this article, but a few include a pitch clock akin to basketball’s shot clock, a limit on manager visits to the mound, shortening the game to 7 innings, eliminating extra innings, or a pitch limit per at bat.

Personally, I am against any of these proposals, as I like the game as it is, but I believe that something will be done in the upcoming years.

Worldwide Expansion:

This is a bit more of a long shot, but MLB baseball may cease to be a North American activity. Past years have seen opening day games and exhibition games played in Latin America, Japan, Europe and Australia to massive audiences and fairly dedicated fans.

Some markets where baseball is already popular such as Central America, South America and the Caribbean lack a high level league akin the MLB. Raising the profile of the league, attracting new fans and generating additional revenue can all be accomplished by market expansion.

Another expansion (or perhaps the relocation of some existing teams) could be likely in the next 20 years, and MLB would be remiss to ignore Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico as potential sites for new teams (Cuba being unavailable due to political issues). These regions would not present an unreasonable burden as far as travel, they already have massive baseball fan bases, and they would help expand the popularity of the league across the world.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

RELATED ARTICLES

A Look At The Great Anderson Silva (“The Spider”)

Anderson Silva - The Spider What can be said about Anderson Silva (34-10-0) everyone doesn't already know? A knock out machine? Been done. A submission guru? Well known. The ability to strategize and pick angles is possibly the strongest point in his fight game. Looking back on his first fight with the toughest opponent anyone could have faced in Chael Sonnen - Anderson Silva was in trouble. The counter striker kept getting countered. Silva had to...

Leeds Rock Villa Boat as Bamford Pounces

Bamford's first hat-trick for Leeds ensures victory over Villa

Billy Joe Saunders Defends WBO Title against Martin Murray on December 4.

Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing has today confirmed that WBO Super Middleweight Champion Billy Joe Saunders will make his return to the ring after a one-year layoff. Saunders will defend his WBO Crown against fellow Brit Martin Murray on December 4 on Sky Sports and DAZN. A contest between Saunders and Murray has been scheduled two times prior for Saunders' WBO Middleweight Belt in 2018 but postponed both times due to injuries from Billy Joe. Murray...

Super Rugby Unlocked 2020: Bulls Vs Sharks

Every South African rugby fan will shift their attention to Loftus Versveld, Pretoria this Saturday at the Super Rugby Unlocked the latest game between the Blue Bulls and The Sharks; both with plenty of pride to play for in this South African rugby derby. Both Bulls and Sharks have a vast blend of youth and experience, as both teams are leading contenders to lift the South African Super Rugby Unlocked trophy this year. Previous Meetings: In many...

UFC 254: Khabib vs Gaethje – Main Card Preview

Main Card Preview UFC 254: UFC 254: Khabib vs. Gaethje will take place on October 24, 2020, at the Flash Forum on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Khabib will look to defend his UFC title against Justin Gaethje in a fight Island classic for the ages. The co-main event features former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker taking on rising top contender Jared Cannonier. The 3 Fights To Look Forward To; Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Justin Gaethje Khabib Nurmagomedov...

Evander Holyfield – The Real Deal

Boxers have always had nicknames; sometimes chosen by themselves, sometimes bestowed upon them by the public or some other third party. The point of a nickname has either been to in some way highlight the intimidation factor of the boxer, or to help with the marketing of the fighter through the “catchiness” of the name. There’ve been some doozies, too. Jake “The Raging Bull” LaMotta, “Sugar” Ray Robinson, Seales, or Leonard, “Iron” Mike Tyson, or...

Can Barcelona Achieve Success This Season?

Will it be the fourth year that Barcelona faces a humiliating season or will they get their hands on the Champions League trophy for the sixth time? It has been a long time since 2015, that Barcelona last won the Champions League. What’s more disheartening are the heavy losses, the team has been suffering for the past few years. Obviously, last year's famous 8-2 thrashing from Bayern Munich highlighted the hollowness created in the team. And...

Fabinho Acrobatics Seals Liverpool Win

Reds opean European campaign with a win and solid defensive display

The Rejuvenation of Isaiah Thomas During the Pandemic

Isaiah Thomas has seen highs and lows like no other all-star in the NBA. From being an MVP candidate who finished 3rd in regular-season - MVP voting averaging of 29 points per game, to being traded the next year. And then being traded two more times from Washington to Denver and then on to the LA Clippers and then cut by the Clippers, it has been a real roller-coaster ride (not a good one)...

Lazio FC – The Rich History of Società Sportiva Lazio

Lazio Football Club is an Italian football club based in Rome, known mainly for their love for the beautiful game of soccer. They are annual participants in the Italian top league, Serie A, and usually pull their weight in challenging for titles and trophies. They have been Italian Scudetto winners twice in 1974 and 2000, and have lifted the prestigious Coppa Italia a whopping seven times, the Supercoppa Italiana three times and the European collections...
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!