It appears that Major League Baseball’s commissioner-elect Rob Manfred, who will take over for incumbent Commissioner Bud Selig in January, will be around for awhile.
For at least five years Manfred will hold the office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball.
Thursday Selig announced that the owners of all 30 MLB teams voted unanimously to give Manfred a five-year term.
The announcement came at the end of two days of meetings of baseball’s owners in Kansas City. Selig will preside over his final owners’ meeting in Arizona in January.
The yearly GM meetings took place earlier in the month in Phoenix and MLB’s big event, the annual winter meetings are scheduled to take place December 8-11 in San Diego.
Manfred’s main objective as commissioner will be to draw the interest of younger fans to baseball.
One way he plans to accomplish this is to improve the pace of play. In the last 30 years the time length has changed dramatically, going from two hours and thirty minutes to an average of three hours in 2014.
Selig has appointed a commitee to work on the issue and the pace of play initiatives were tested during the 2014 Arizona Fall League’s season, much like expanded replay was utilized during the 2013 AFL season.
Replay was considered a success and baseball’s top executives believe that the pace of play initiatives will be successful as well.
However, no changes can be made for the 2015 season without approval from the MLB Players’ Association. They can be implemented in 2016 as the commissioner can make changes if the MLBPA is given a year’s notice, though an agreement is likely to be made before the 2016 season.
Other than working on the pace of play initiatives and fine tuning expanded replay, the commission and the commissioner-to-be have been having a smooth transistion.
Commissioner Selig said of the changing of the guard,
“We are where we want to be. We’re having a wonderful transition, orderly transition, good transition. That’s very important.”
Commissioner-elect Manfred, who has worked for MLB since 1998, said that the idea of being the Commissioner of Major League Baseball,
“Hits me every day when I go to work. I agree with Commissioner Selig, we’ve had a really productive and smooth transition.”
This is a good sign, at least so far, that Manfred will be able to, at least, seamlessly step into Selig’s shoes without any major issues prior to the new season.
What he does during the five years following remains to be seen. Let’s just hope it’s good for the game.