Robert Manfred Takes Over as MLB Commissioner

at 5:25 pm | By

Robert Manfred, 56, officially became the 10th commissioner in the history of Major League Baseball Sunday (Jan. 25), and so far so good.

The former Chief Operating Officer of the MLB is preceded by Bud Selig, who was the MLB commissioner for 23 years.

When asked, Manfred said that his vision has three key components:

First of all, we’re going to make a major effort to work with the youth aspect of our fan base. We need to do everything we can to encourage their participation. And we need to make sure parents and grandparents are getting kids into the ballpark at an early age so we can continue to pass down, what I consider, our great game from generation to generation.

Secondly, I think we’re very fortunate that [MLB president for business affairs and media] Bob Bowman has built a really world class technology company [Major League Baseball Advanced Media], and we need to apply the resources available to bolster our in-park experience and our broadcast to give our fans the fullest possible enjoyment and engagement with our game.

Third, and this one is a continuation, but I’m a big believer in the idea that baseball, like all institutions, needs to continue to modernize itself consistent with the traditions of the game. I think instant replay is a good example of that effort, and I think the next wave of it is going to be our efforts to deal with pace of game, lack of offense and issues such as that.

The commissioner, however, has inherited a few challenges that he is going to have to help resolve. There is the dispute over how the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles are going to split revenues from the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, the opposition of the San Francisco Giants not wanting the Oakland Athletics moving to San Jose, and as to where a new stadium for the [Tampa Bay] Rays is going to be built.

The MLB also made $9 billion in revenue last year — a record — so it’s safe to say the former COO of the MLB was a good choice for commissioner.

Check out what Manfred had to say about America’s pastime on MLB Tonight.

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