While Major League Baseball has now seen Bud Selig move on from his place as Commissioner of the league, Rob Manfred has not taken long to put his stamp on things. With some rule changes already announced last week, Manfred continues to push forward. His latest comments may draw the ire of quite a few however.
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Over the weekend, Rob Manfred brought up the possibility that the game could be changed even further through the schedule construction. Instead of playing the normal 162 game regular season, Manfred noted exploring the possibility of a 154 game season.
Manfred said, “We already have some of our record books which reflect a 154-game season and obviously some of it reflects a 162-game season. So there’s some natural flexibility there. But if anyone suggests to go to something like 110 games, then there’s a real problem. That will throw all our numbers out of whack.”
At this point, Rob Manfred has already instituted changes to the in-game experience in hopes of shortening the games, but he has also now proposed a shorter season and outlawing defensive shifts. At some point, caution flags need to be thrown up into the air.
Major League Baseball finds itself at a crossroads. As the sport continually looks to expand, the game is being combed over in hopes of revisions that will breed expansion. The sport has made a significant push towards new audiences, and that has caused some significant changes to the game in its current state. As football and basketball grow in popularity, baseball has tried to keep pace.
The biggest issue here is that baseball has kept pace, and is actually doing quite well.
We looked at the issue a couple of weeks ago, but as Major League Baseball and Rob Manfred continue to change the current state of the sport, they risk tarnishing what it has become. Understanding that appealing to the masses has drawbacks is also a very significant concept to grasp.
Although he’s not someone Twins fans typically like, Nick Swisher may have hit it right on the head in response to rule changes being instituted into baseball.
Here’s to hoping the game doesn’t forget what grew the popularity to what it is today.
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