Manfred talks pace of play, ASG at Wrigley

Commissioner says he appreciates feedback from players about new rules

Manfred talks pace of play, ASG at Wrigley

CHICAGO -- Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said Friday he's encouraged by the feedback regarding changes made to improve the pace of play, and he has encouraged players to offer suggestions.

Manfred, who was at Wrigley Field to meet with the Cubs and the Brewers, said they've received input from players that have resulted in a few changes. For example, players who violate the pace of play rules are not fined if their game takes two hours, 45 minutes or less.

"We've had tremendous cooperation from the players, and I want to make sure we do the little things to get that cooperation," Manfred said. "The key to this is player cooperation."

Manfred said the feedback from those with the Commissioner's Office has been good.

"Our people who are out watching games say they feel like the games are a little crisper, moving along, and we've taken out dead time when the game's played," he said.

Manfred had a chance to get a visual update of the renovations at Wrigley Field.

"It looks like it will be absolutely fantastic -- really exciting for Chicago," Manfred said.

The Commissioner could not promise that the changes will result in the Cubs hosting an All-Star Game.

"I will say, the interest in All-Star Games is probably as strong as it's ever been since I've been in the game 20-something years," Manfred said. "Chicago would certainly be a great venue for it."

There has been discussion regarding whether or not the National League should adopt the designated hitter after injuries to pitchers such as the Cardinals' Adam Wainwright.

"Over the long haul, I'm a status-quo person on the DH," Manfred said. "I think the difference between the two leagues is a source of debate among fans, and I'm a big believer that when people are talking about baseball, it's a good thing."

Manfred said he didn't understand all the headlines over service time in connection with Cubs top prospect Kris Bryant.

"I was surprised by the controversy for the simple reason this has been an issue that has been discussed and vetted at the bargaining table in multiple rounds," Manfred said. "Whenever you have a seniority-based system, which we have in baseball, we'll have lines. And when you have lines, smart people will manage around those lines."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.