Friday, January 29, 2016

Quick Hit: Rob Manfred’s Remaining Offseason Check List

Rob Manfred is barely into his second year as Commissioner of Major League Baseball and already he has left his mark on the game of baseball. Instant replay has been changed and expanded, Pete Rose was denied reinstatement back into the game once again, steroid testing gets tougher and tougher with every passing year, all teams will have Spanish translators working for them all season long, television deals are going through the roof, protective netting is being put up at all 30 MLB stadiums to protect the fans and among other things there is discussion about adding the designated hitter position to the National League. Manfred has a lot on his plate but he is far from done as he looks to expand and improve the game so here are a few key notes he is still working on today as we inch closer to spring training and the 2016 regular season.

Baseball’s strike zone is getting bigger and bigger and is especially growing low in the zone. At one time the strike zone was defined as at the top of the hitter’s kneecap to right around the letters on the chest part of his uniform. It has since been changed to the hollow beneath the kneecap and many are complaining that the strike zone is simply too low. This changed after the 1995 season and will likely be part of the new CBA in 2017, not before. 

The league is also talking about playing regular season games in London as soon as the 2017 season. Manfred did say the league was working hard to play there but it would have to be later on in the season due to weather. With travel delays and such you would have to wonder if it would be sometime around the All-Star break when these teams would make the travel across the pond. 

Manfred is picking up where former Commissioner Bud Selig left off as the league still works towards and strives for an international draft. Manfred said nothing is imminent on this matter but he said “we were closer to getting there in certain rounds of bargaining than people may have understood and probably it was a mistake not to push it across the finish line” in a recent interview at the owners meetings in Florida. 

Manfred states the league is still investigating the domestic violence charges against the Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman, Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes and Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig. Manfred and the league need to decide whether to suspend one or all of them under the league’s newly formed domestic violence policy. 

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