CARLSBAD, Calif. — Main League Baseball homeowners will vote subsequent week on whether or not to present commissioner Rob Manfred a five-year contract extension once they meet in Atlanta, three baseball executives instructed USA TODAY Sports activities on the GM conferences.
Manfred, who was elected commissioner in 2014, is anticipated to obtain unanimous approval. He wants assist from 23 of the 30 possession teams to obtain a contract by way of 2024.
The executives spoke on the situation of anonymity as a result of they weren’t licensed to talk publicly due to the sensitivity of the vote.
Manfred and the homeowners are also anticipated to debate new guidelines and proposals that arose on the annual GM Conferences, together with a 20-second pitch clock for 2019, together with concepts to restrict shifts, diminish using “openers’’ as an alternative of beginning pitchers, and reduce the frequency of pitching adjustments.
A number of GMs proposed the concept of getting a 28-man roster within the month of April and limiting the variety of gamers who could be eligible to be on the lively rosters in video games in September. But, deputy commissioner Dan Halem stated the idea of accelerating the roster earlier than September is probably going a problem for the subsequent collective bargaining settlement, which expires in 2021.
“Within the collective bargaining in 2016, it was a subject that was closely mentioned,’’ Halem stated. “We got here very near an settlement on that subject. For a wide range of causes, we didn’t make an settlement on increasing the 25-man roster. I’m positive there will likely be discussions actually within the subsequent collective bargaining spherical. Possibly there will likely be discussions earlier than, however it’s a subject that we’ll proceed to debate sooner or later.’’
The competitors committee will talk about potential rule adjustments in 2019, which can then be addressed with the homeowners and the MLB Gamers Affiliation.
“We mentioned all the things, and all points are on the desk,’’ Halem stated. “Tempo of play. Potential on-field rule adjustments. … However at this level, nothing has been determined. There’ll no bulletins on this for some time. We’re at first of the method.’’
Halem and the GMs additionally talked about menace of digital espionage amongst golf equipment illegally stealing indicators, and there may very well be limitations to using the center-field digicam at ballparks and the monitoring of video rooms.
“We spent plenty of time on it, and obtained good options,’’ Halem stated. “I feel the actual difficulty is giving golf equipment consolation that different golf equipment should not utilizing digital know-how to steal indicators. We took a wide range of measures within the postseason to present golf equipment consolation that the principles are being enforced. We obtained some further options on issues we will do. I’ll speak to the commissioner who will make the choice whether or not we should always proceed protocols we put in place throughout the postseason, or whether or not we should always add something.”
Halem rejected veteran agent Scott Boras’ perception that attendance plummeted by 4.2% final season as a result of too many groups had been intentionally making an attempt to lose to achieve a prime draft choose as an alternative of being aggressive.
“In our present system now we have a most cancers that permits dropping,’’ Boras stated, “and an intent to lose and a non-competitiveness to be rewarded within the improvement atmosphere.’’
Groups rebuild yearly, “a few of these groups that had been ‘rebuilding’ did fairly properly final 12 months. I don’t, and our homeowners don’t imagine there’s any connection between the rebuilding course of and general attendance.’’
The largest purpose for the attendance decline, Halem stated, was the climate. There have been 54 postponements final season, probably the most since 1997, and 98 of the 351 video games in out of doors stadiums in April had been performed with temperatures underneath 50 levels, based on numbertamer.com. Nonetheless, this was the bottom baseball’s lowest attendance (69.6 million) since 2003, and the eighth lower within the final 11 years.
The time of video games had been diminished by almost 5 minutes final season, however MLB stays involved in regards to the lack of motion throughout video games, with extra strikeouts than hits for the primary time in historical past, and a .248 batting common that was the bottom since 1972.
“We’d wish to see extra balls in play,’’ Halem stated, “that’s a problem underneath dialogue. It’s an space that had been targeted on. We’re working very exhausting to cut back as a lot lifeless time within the recreation as potential so our video games are performed as crisply as potential.’’
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