Today is Rob Manfred’s first official day as Commissioner of Baseball. Manfred penned an open letter to the game’s fans explaining his mission: “To honor the game’s history while welcoming new people to our great sport — people who will one day pass their love of baseball down through the generations. That is what our parents and grandparents did for us, and it is what we are doing for our own children.” Manfred listed his priorities as making baseball “more accessible to those in underserved areas” and “to continue to modernize the game without interfering with its history and traditions.”
Here are the reactions from around baseball as the transition from Selig to Manfred is now complete:
- Manfred made news on his first day saying, in an interview with ESPN’s Karl Ravech, he would be open to the idea of eliminating defensive shifts as a means to injecting additional offense into the game.
- In an interview with ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, Manfred outlined five objectives of his tenure: youth outreach, embrace technology, quicken the pace of play, strengthen player relations, and creating a more unified business operation.
- Manfred also told Crasnick he recognizes the reinstatement of Pete Rose is an issue, but “I’m just not at a point in time where I can say anything intelligent about it.“
- In a separate article, Crasnick opines Manfred’s influence and achievements vastly outweigh his low profile and he is ready to make some baseball history of his own.
- Manfred understands the special relationship between our culture and the National Pastime, writes Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports.
- Brown’s colleague, Jeff Passan, notes how the now former Commisioner Bud Selig overcame early missteps and forged an enduring legacy.
- CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman calls Selig basball’s great reformer and has led the game to unprecedented heights.
- Paul White and Jorge L. Ortiz of USA Today examines the accomplishments under Selig and the challenges which await Manfred.
- Selig told the Associated Press his dream for the game is to have an international flavor, including MLB franchises in other countries.