Thursday, October 29, 2015

Manfred’s Hot Ticket Items for 2016

Earlier this week we praised Rob Manfred’s first season as the Commissioner of Major League Baseball and donned the season a success. You know us here at The Greedy Pinstripes by now, we take the time to celebrate what needs to be celebrated and we move on to the next one. Manfred can celebrate his successes in 2015 for now but soon he will have to begin focusing on the 2016 season. I wanted to make this a little easier for him, because I know deep in my heart he’s reading this either directly or having him read it for him indirectly, by laying out the hot ticket items that will be discussed, implemented or changed before the 2016 season.

The New CBA

The current collective bargaining agreement expires at the conclusion of the 2016 season and World Series, well like a month and a half later but who is counting, and it’s never too early to start discussing it now. The players will want this, the owners will want that and the sooner they begin to meet in the middle on the things the better in my opinion. Also this is going to be a huge factor in the decision making on a lot of the key note items below.

Minority Hiring in MLB

We touched on this once in its own post so we won’t spend much time here. MLB’s plan seems to be a long-term plan that begins at the bottom and works itself up. Major League Baseball has begun infiltrating the inner city’s youth and putting baseball academies, the RBI program etc. in trying to lure minorities to the game at a young age. That interest at a young age will turn many of those children, hopefully, into baseball players and then eventual managers, GM’s and owners. It’s a very long-term plan but it’s been in the works since the Bud Selig era so Manfred may end up getting the bulk of the credit for it.

Fan Safety

MLB will continue to talk about potentially adding nets down the first base and third base side of the fields much like they have behind home plate. This is already planning to be discussed at an owners meeting on November 18th and 19th. This seems to me to be a relatively small change and improvement to keep the fans safe. No fans, no revenue and no Major League Baseball.


Parity seems to be showing its ugly face in Major League Baseball and Manfred hopes it continues. The Top 9 teams in terms of payroll did not make the League Championship Series and the 13th highest payroll, Kansas City at $128.1 million, and the 19th highest payroll, the New York Mets at $109.6 million, made it to the 2015 World Series.

The Chase Utley Slide Rule

According to Manfred the whole “takeout the second baseman with a slide to break up the double play” or what am I referring to as the Chase Utley Rule was being talked about before the postseason. Preliminary discussions with the MLB Players Association have already taken place so this one is getting done one way or another.

Shortening or Changing the Schedule

There have been talks of going back to a 154-game schedule instead of the current 162-game schedule and there has also been talks of opening the season earlier to avoid November World Series games. Personally, being born on November 2, I like having World Series games being played on my birthday. I can remember AJ Burnett, my favorite pitcher (there is something about throwing a no-hitter with nine walks that intrigues me) pitching on my birthday with the Yankees on the cusp of clinching the 2009 World Series. That didn’t happen but it was still cool.

That’s just a few of the things Manfred will presumably talk about this winter, if I missed any please leave them in the comments section below or shoot me a tweet by following @GreedyStripes. 

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)