MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred on ESPN Radio’s Golic and Wingo

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MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred on ESPN Radio’s Golic and Wingo

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred joined ESPN Radio’s Golic and Wingo (hosted by Mike Golic and Trey Wingo) live in Cleveland ahead of tonight’s 2019 T-Mobile Home Run Derby on ESPN to discuss a variety of topics. 

On the theme of the season and what we will see in Cleveland…

“…The average age…of the National League roster is under 26. It’s reflective of the fact that we are attracting great athletes to the sport. They are getting to the big leagues faster and they are making their marks faster.”

On the uptick in home runs

“Let’s not forget…our fan data suggests fans like home runs. It’s not the worst thing in the world. We think what’s been going on this year is attributable to the baseball. Our scientists that have been now studying the baseball more regularly have told us that this year the ball has a little less drag. It doesn’t need to change very much in order to produce…meaningful change in terms of the way the game is played on the field. We are trying to understand exactly why that happened and build out a manufacturing process that gives us a little more control over what’s going on. But you have to remember…our baseball is a handmade product and there’s going to be variation year to year.”

On changing the netting rules…

“This is not a power question. It’s important to remember that fan safety is a really big issue for all the clubs, for us. We’ve made tremendous strides the last four years in terms of the amount of netting in ballparks. I mean, four years ago the standard was the on deck circle…and we are now out past the end of the dugout.

“I could say to the clubs ‘everybody has to do X on netting’. That is an approach that is unlikely to be successful given that we are in the middle of a season and that there are differences in terms of infrastructure that it would make it difficult for some clubs to comply with that rule… It’s not as easy as saying…everybody is going to go to here, because every stadium is laid out differently and it would require different kinds of construction.”

On changing them next season…

“…I think you will see continued progress on this issue. I think that the off season you will see an uptick of clubs. You know, it’s easy to do other people’s job and I think that the strategy we’ve adopted is to work with the clubs individually not put them in a position where…they are trying to meet a standard in a stadium where it can’t be met, continue to work with them and make sure we have as much netting as possible and produces the maximum safety for our fans.”

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Contact: Michael Skarka at 860-766-1342 or [email protected]

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