At yesterday’s Spring Training Media Day, Commissioner Rob Manfred met with the media in Florida, the most superior spring training location because I live here and I say so, to discuss various issues concerning the greatest sport of all, baseball. I don’t care if the rest of the world prefers soccer. The rest of the world is wrong, as usual. ‘murica!
Along with Manfred, Dave Dombrowski, GM of the Red Sox, Al Avila, Detroit Tigers GM, John Farrell, Red Sox manager, Andy McPhail, President of Baseball Ops of the Philadelphia Phillies (thanks, FC), and Paul Molitor, Twins’ Manager, also made their appearances. Governor Scott of Florida was also scheduled to appear, but he mercifully canceled.
The Grapefruit League is a huge source of revenue for Florida, drawing 25 million since 2000, however, as longfootlefty noted the other day in his completely biased post, the distance between the cities can be a source of strain for some of the players, and this will likely not continue to be a huge source of revenue if the following continues. Many a fan has been disappointed to show up and see their favorite player not in attendance at a road game. Manfred and others discussed this. The current requirement for a road game is 4 regulars on road teams and 3 on a split squad. Molitor stated that “if I can protect veterans, then I will.” Avila noted that some guys need to stay behind because they need physical therapy, since his team old and broken down. (I’m kidding, historiophiliac!) The player may be rehabbing. This, of course, is true for all teams. Baseball needs to find a way to meet the players’ needs and also make fans happy.
The Rays’ upcoming trip to Cuba was also discussed. It is still tentatively scheduled for March 22nd. I am desperately trying to figure out a way to make it down there, for this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. An official announcement should come any day now.
In addition the following topics were discussed.
- Stuff to speed up the game like limiting meetings on the mounds. But when are they supposed to discuss what to get for Jimmy and Millie’s wedding?
- Technology to engage fans. More selfies! (I still have nightmares.)
- Spanish translators for all teams. As Carlos Beltran noted in the link I provided, it is going to be “beautiful.” (I need to brush up my resume and work on my detail oriented skills.)
- Status quo on the DH because NL fans are sentimental fools (I read between the lines but I am pretty sure that’s what he said.)
- A new CBA by the next World Series.
- Under more serious matters, he also expects a decision to be made on the pending domestic violence cases within days.