Rob Manfred Elected Next MLB Commissioner

FRIDAY: Manfred’s initial contract will be a three-year deal, tweets Nightengale.

THURSDAY, 5:58pm: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports tweets that Manfred’s support vacillated between 20, 21 and 22 voters over the course of the day. The Brewers and Rays pushed the vote to 21 and 22. Of the final eight holdouts, the Nationals were the team that eventually changed their vote and put Manfred over the top, Heyman adds.

5:14pm: Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times tweets that Manfred passed 30-0 in the final vote. Presumably, once one owner flipped his vote, the other seven conceded the defeat and made the decision unanimous. Indeed, in a follow-up tweet, Shaikin calls the 30-0 vote “an olive branch for posterity” by the seven owners who were still opposed to Manfred.

5:01pm: Major League Baseball owners have elected Rob Manfred as the next commissioner of MLB, according to Michael S. Schmidt of the New York Times (Twitter link).

Manfred, 55, will succeed Selig, who had announced that he would step down after the season. The former Brewers’ owner has been at the helm since 1992, when he was named acting Commissioner, taking over for Fay Vincent. His seat was formalized in 1998. During his tenure, baseball went through a devastating strike and still-lingering PED crisis, and also saw significant economic growth.

Manfred has been along for much of that ride, as Lynn Zinser of the New York Times wrote yesterday. After representing MLB as part of his practice with a large firm, Manfred entered league employment full-time in 1998 and spent fifteen years running point on many of the key labor issues that defined Selig’s stint.

The Harvard Law graduate’s ability to work with the MLB Player’s Association was perhaps seen as both a strength and weakness, as a minority group of owners emerged recently to challenge his assumed ascension. Red Sox chairman and part owner Tom Werner arose as the most plausible alternative, and managed to win the initial support off a reported eight owners during the early rounds of voting.

As Bob Nightengale of USA Today wrote yesterday, Manfred supporters will point to his status as head of labor negotiations and the 19 years of peace between MLB and the MLBPA. He also helped to implement baseball’s current drug testing system and headed last year’s Biogenesis investigation. His detractors, Nightengale notes, will point to the fact that baseball is the only sport without a salary cap. They also credit the drug testing agreement to the MLBPA for changing its stance and criticize Manfred for allowing all but $2 billion of the Dodgers’ $8.35 billion TV deal to be protected from revenue sharing.

After the first two rounds of voting, Manfred had just 22 of the necessary 23 votes of support, with the White Sox, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Angels, Nationals, Athletics, Diamondbacks and Reds all opposing. It’s unclear which of the eight opposing teams owners flipped his vote and tipped the scale in Manfred’s favor.

61 Responses to Rob Manfred Elected Next MLB Commissioner Leave a Reply

  1. xHoratiox 12 months ago

    Backroom deal with Seligula. As expected…

    • Jeff Hill 12 months ago

      I agree with the backroom deal part but not with Selig and Manfred. But with Manfred and one of the 8 teams that voted for Tom Werner. I only say that because I don’t see how the votes can change so quickly when they have been deadlocked at 22-8. I also thought I remembered reading that at one point that Werner had 10 votes.

      • jb226 12 months ago

        There was a report that his supporters were saying he had 10 votes, but that same report included the other camp saying they had at least 21. Being as there are not 31 teams, something there was clearly unreliable.

  2. Chris Vinnit 12 months ago

    Sounds like Goodell 2.0 Hopefully he’s not as hypocritical, malicious, or corrupt.

    • Bob George 12 months ago

      From everything I’ve read the last 10 years, he seems to be much more of those, other than corrupt. He’s been very personal and hot tempered. Hopefully he calms down. Leaders can’t be vindictive and certainly the commissioner can’t be as rude and arrogant as Manfred has been with the media.

  3. Christopher Hoffa 12 months ago

    dumb question, but does he take over immediately or in the offseason?

  4. mlbaustin 12 months ago

    I’m honestly just glad it wasn’t George W. Bush

  5. ChrisM 12 months ago

    Now can we please get rid of the awful Wild Card one-game playoff and go back to how it was before and then make the division series 7 games?

    • Jaysfan1994 12 months ago

      Why? Trade deadline has become the most intriguing thing in years because more teams are in the race for the playoffs.

    • MB923 12 months ago

      Or keep it and make the WC match a best of 3 instead of a 1 game playoff.

      • ChrisM 12 months ago

        Or this.

      • KJ4realz 12 months ago

        I’ve thought about that but the. How do you do it? Saw you have the braves an dodgers for example. Is it 1-1-1? That’s a lot of travel. Also you wouldn’t do 2-1 or 1-2 because then the better record team gets the first game away or the last. I’d personally do all 3 at the better records park. Or make it best of 5

        • MB923 12 months ago

          I think a best of 5 would be too many off days for the other teams. A 1-2 could actually work but I think a 1-1-1 would be best.

          My friend even had a good suggestion. Make it a best of 2 with either 2 games at one ballpark or 1-1. If the first WC team wins 1 the first or the 2nd game , then they win the series. The 2nd WC team has to win both of the 2 games to win it. Maybe not the best suggestion but it’s not a bad idea.

          • BlueSkyLA
            BlueSkyLA 12 months ago

            Yes, the problem with the current system is that it just isn’t complicated enough.

        • Vmmercan 12 months ago

          In 1995, it was a 2-3 with the better “seed” having the latter three games. I don’t see how a 1-2 would be unfair.

          • MB923 12 months ago

            Agreed, and it was like that in 2012 too but that was because Selig wanted the WC game in that season and schedule conflicts forced them to do the LDS 2-3. I believe every LDS that year went 5 games with 3 out of the 4 teams losing the last game.

          • rct 12 months ago

            Yeah, and they stopped doing that because it was unfair. Citing a failed and obsolete example isn’t a point your favor. A 1-2 would be unfair. 1-1-1 would be best, but scheduling conflicts/travel/having the other teams waiting around probably also wouldn’t be fair.

          • Karkat 12 months ago

            Let’s just have them by a quick 3-game set at the eventual ALDS host city 😛

      • Karkat 12 months ago

        The only problem with this idea (because I’ve been an occassional fan of it) is that it would a) push the postseason further back and b) leave the other six teams waiting for 4-6 days between the end of the season and the start of their ALDS, and layoffs like that are typically not ideal (see: 2007 Rockies, 2012 Tigers)

        • MB923 12 months ago

          Yes I understand about the off days which is why I said in response to someone else above who suggested maybe even making it a best of 5. That is Way too many off days.

          Or as I said above this post (or below the one you responded to), make it a 1-1 back to back days in 2 stadiums. 1st WC team has to win 1 of the 2 games (if they win the first, no 2nd game), the 2nd WC team has to win both (they go Away first, and then Home for the 2nd game)

          Though in a way, I can see that being a bit unfair for the 2nd WC team if they are at a disadvantage in the series, but hey it’s like that in other sports like the NFL when some teams have Byes. #1 and #2 seeds in NFL only have to win 3 games to win the super bowl whereas every other team has to win 4

          What do you think about that? (The 1-1 plan)

          • Karkat 12 months ago

            The 1-1 idea would make sense in situations like we’ll surely have this season (with the probably-Angels being so much better than the #2 team) but last season Tampa Bay and Cleveland were one game apart at the end of 162, and the year prior Baltimore and Texas had identical records. It strikes me as potentially dramatically unfair in those circumstances (especially where some arbitrary tie breaker defines which team is #1 and which is #2).

            I still think even 3 is too many off days, because there’d have to be at least one day on either side (possibly two after the end of the season to accommodate tiebreakers). And not only does it delay the LDS teams, but it pushes the World Series back, which is already a problem.

          • MB923 12 months ago

            There doesn’t have to be an off day in between the 2 games. I don’t care if it’s East vs. West, East. vs. East, West vs. West, etc. Though in that case, make the games mid day (say 4pm EST) and have them fly overnight after it.

            Good points about the standings, sometimes the record is identical (like Balt/Tex) other times there’s a gap ( like Atlanta and St. Louis last year).

            Anyway I would do it all in the span of 3 days after game 162… WC Game 1 – WC Game 2 (if necc) – LDS Game 1 (between the #2 and #3 division teams, not the WC winner/#1 team)

    • Jorge Correa 12 months ago

      Because there are a lot of problems in not having an incentive for teams to win the division and not giving a bit more of a fair chance to other good teams.

      • The problem is that the WC team has often had a better record than one of the division winners. Teams don’t need more incentive to win games,

    • DanKoff 12 months ago

      Yes Please. Teams play 162 games to determine who is better. Why do we need them to play one more unless there is a tie break?

  6. ilikeike29 12 months ago

    Tremendous choice.

    • Mike1L 12 months ago

      quick question. why is it a tremendous choice? What do you see him doing that is a departure from the past? How will be improve the game? That’s not an adversarial question, but I’m curious.

      • Jeff Hill 12 months ago

        I am thinking that the first thing he will fix is the pace of play. Which is a major problem. I am a Red Sox fan and have not watched a full game since the collapse in 2011. That includes the postseason last year and the reason is that I DO NOT have 3-5 hours to watch a baseball game for 6-7 months. I watched bits and pieces of a game, here and there but not a full game.

        • JamieFC 12 months ago

          Then why did you watch up until 2011? The length of games did not drastically change after your Sox collapsed in Sept 2011…

          • Jeff Hill 12 months ago

            That is when I started to not have the time to spend 3-5 hours a night watching baseball games. And the Sox collapse did help a little.

          • Karkat 12 months ago

            Yeah, pre-2012 had Papelbon adding ~80 hours over the course of a whole season just by himself.

  7. Mike1L 12 months ago

    Interesting. what we will never find out, sadly, is what it took to get the votes. In baseball, nothing is free.

  8. Jaysfan1994 12 months ago

    Any information leaked by Heyman usually has to go through Scott Boras first, him saying the Nationals were the one’s that flipped might not even be true. Could just be Boras making sure his loyal Nationals get special treatment from Mansfield once he takes the reigns.

  9. ba9oriole 12 months ago

    I wish MLB would balance the schedules and remove the divisions so that only the best teams really make it to the playoffs. How is it fair that my Orioles have to face AL East teams for two-thirds of their schedule and NL Central teams face the weak teams in their division for two-thirds of their schedule?

    • Jeff Hill 12 months ago

      I am just playing devil’s advocate with you. But look at the 2 divisions this year. Your orioles have to play the AL East which has a combined winning percentage of about .511 while the NL Central has played 3 more games and has a winning percentage of about .508. So going just based off of winning percentage the 2 divisions are pretty much equal this season. Even though if you look at the standings the NL Central should be a better division. So this season the NL Central is not facing weak teams. The divisions that I would say just by looking at the standings and not calculating winning percentages are the NL West and AL West because the DBacks and Astros each have less than 50 wins this season and the rest of the division plays those teams more than the other teams not in that division.

      • ba9oriole 12 months ago

        I’m talking about every single year since the three division setup has been in place, not just this season. And you actually helped prove my point for me. Even when the AL East is at it’s weakest point probably in decades, it STILL has a better winning percentage than the NL Central. Put it this way. The Orioles didn’t have even one winning season from 1998-2011. If the Orioles had played in the NL Central, I guarantee you that they would have had at least a few winning seasons during that span. Their offense was always pretty decent, but they could have gotten away with the below average pitching they had if they had been in that division.

      • BlueSkyLA
        BlueSkyLA 12 months ago

        You are right about the NLW (#6 .477), but not the ALW (#3 .506). It’s one thing to talk about playing in strong or weak divisions but you should also consider the interleague match-ups. The quality of “local rival” teams varies quite a bit, but either way they are going to play those games with them every year. I think the White Sox are happier playing those games against the Cubs than the Mets are facing the Yankees or the Giants are playing the A’s.

    • BlueSkyLA
      BlueSkyLA 12 months ago

      I don’t need to play devil’s advocate to ask if you are really serious about 15-team “divisions” (better known as leagues). In this case, the only “playoffs” left are called the World Series.

    • Karkat 12 months ago

      Two thirds of the schedule? Intra-division games, while still a significant
      chunk, are less than half the schedule (Intra-division: 76 games,
      interleague: 20 games, other: 66). Not to mention, if the O’s played in
      the national league that great offense would be weakened by the absence
      of a DH (bye Nelson Cruz).

      Also, what’s the justification for the O’s not doing well from 1998-2007 again? I mean, sure there were a lot of games against strong Boston and New York teams, but an equal number of games against weak Toronto and Tampa Bay teams.

      Not to mention, evening out the schedule would be an awful mess of travel (and 10pm start times).

      • ba9oriole 12 months ago

        Nelson Cruz would play LF and they’d have an advantage with their pinch hitters. Also, their very good pitching would suddenly be great pitching since they’d have a free out every ninth batter. I already explained the Orioles losing season streak in a response to someone else. I don’t feel like repeating myself.

        • stl_cards16 12 months ago

          You point out the NL Central? Is this 2006 again? Somehow playing against each other in this weak division 4 (of 5) teams are over .500 Makes sense?

          • scottastic86 12 months ago

            I really have gotten sick of so many people still thinking that the NL Central is a joke. ’13- 3 teams with 90+ wins, playoff berths, and division winner represented NL in WS. ’12- 2 playoff teams and wild card came within 1 game of WS. ’11- 2 playoff teams with 90+ wins, both made NLCS and wild card won WS. ’08- 2 playoff teams with 90+ wins. ’06- Division winner wins WS despite finishing with 83 wins. ’05- 2 playoff teams, division winner led MLB in wins (100) and both made NLCS. ’04- 2 playoff teams, division winner led MLB in wins (105), both made NLCS. ’03- Division winner within 1 game of WS. By the look of things 2014 will probably have at least 2 playoff teams again. But yeah, it’s pretty unfair that these teams have to play each other when they’re obviously so weak…

    • MS 12 months ago

      Your view of the NL Central is a few years behind. Currently, 4 of the top 8 teams in the NL are from the Central.

  10. Ned L 12 months ago

    Congrats Mr. Rose and welcome back.

    • James Attwood 12 months ago

      Unlikely with Manfred.

    • northsfbay 12 months ago

      Rose bet on baseball games. Give it up.

      • Ned L 12 months ago

        My bet is that he will be reinstated very soon. I’m not saying I agree with it, but I think it will happen. As will a revision of the home plate blocking rule by the first playoff game. We’ll see.

        • MadmanTX 12 months ago

          I hope you lose your bet–ironic that you are even betting on Pete “Double or nothing on the Reds” Rose.

  11. froggy54 12 months ago

    This guy was right there side by side with the man who turned and looked the other way from steroids. He’s nothing to me. Just more of the same. He wants to do something?Let him wipe out every record set by every cheater and then move forward.

    • Ned L 12 months ago

      The MLBPA wouldn’t allow any action on PEDs, the wasn’t much Bud could do.

    • Karkat 12 months ago

      Manfred was the guy who wanted to try to punish Barry Bonds even though there were no rules about it at the time to force the MLBPA to have to protect a cheater in arbitration, actually…….

  12. MadmanTX 12 months ago

    Hope to God this new guy doesn’t let Pete Rose or the cheaters into the HOF.

    • northsfbay 12 months ago

      The Baseball Hall of Fame is independent of baseball. It is run by a Board of Directors. They can do anything they want.

      • Red_Line_9 12 months ago

        But according to the Hall of Fame bylaws, a player must be in good standing with organized baseball.

        • northsfbay 12 months ago

          The Hall of Fame could change their bylaws.

          • Red_Line_9 12 months ago

            Possible, but it would make little ethical sense to change it. MLB will need to reinstate Pete Rose or Joe Jackson before they will likely ever be enshrined.

  13. Mike1L 12 months ago

    Love the update “Manfred’s contract will be a three year deal..” I was hoping for the good stuff, like how much, are there incentives for number of press conferences, or players suspended, is their a vesting option, can the owners give Manfred a Qualifying Offer?

  14. formerdraftpick 12 months ago

    First order of business. Reinstate Pete Rose.

  15. NRD1138 12 months ago

    Unclear who was the leader in the opposition. Scuttlebutt was it was Reinsdorf.
    I just hope he gets rid of the silly Winner of AS game gets home field in the playoffs. It should be who ever has the better record who gets home field for the Series or something like that.
    That and WC should stay, as I think you have seen what it does. Makes a better overall experience for those who could be in the hunt all season long, not just had a change 2 weeks into the season then done for the rest.
    Ye olde days of just division winners was OK when there were not 30 teams in the league. Otherwise revenue will drop and I cannot see a commissioner with a 3 yr contract telling the owners “Guess what? I’m going to cut your revenue!” Then tell the players union “Guess what? Fewer of you have a change to make the playoffs and get you PO bonuses!”
    Unless that is what he was already rumored to be thinking and that is why there was opposition to his promotion.

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