Oct. 8 Commissioner Manfred interview

Oct. 8 Commissioner Manfred interview

Q. Given that both teams have to get back out there for a daytime start in L.A., are any alterations expected to the schedule moving forward?

COMMISSIONER MANFRED: No, we're going to stay with the schedule for the rest of the series.

We do east-to-west travel like this during the regular season. It's not ideal, but doable. Doable.

Q. Does the league take a different approach to these kind of situations than maybe you would -- like a lot of times, regular season, you might wait it out for much longer than this. Different circumstances when you get to the post-season?

COMMISSIONER MANFRED: Obviously one significant difference is that we have control over the game, as opposed to the home team.

We met with both teams. I think there was a lot of consensus that no matter who controlled the game, that the right decision here was to cancel and play in good weather tomorrow.

The approach is generally the same. We hate to cancel. We hate to make travel worse on the players than it was originally intended to be. But it just doesn't look like we're going to have a situation that would be save for the players to play.

Q. What are you hearing about the weather tomorrow? Is there going to be anything?

COMMISSIONER MANFRED: The weather tomorrow is supposed to be good. No rain. And by 1:00, we hopefully will be in a sunny period.

Q. Not related to the rain. The game tomorrow in Toronto, after the beer-can-throwing incident the other night, do you have any expectations for increased security or what do you expect out of that tomorrow?

COMMISSIONER MANFRED: We have been working with the Toronto club and I have every confidence we will not have a repeat of the incident that we had during the wild-card game. The club's been extremely cooperative and I think is as committed as we are to make sure that we don't have another incident like that.

Q. Just real quick, while we're in Washington, any sense of progress, optimism about the Manson dispute?

COMMISSIONER MANFRED: Look, the Manson dispute, I think, demonstrates why baseball has a rule about litigation. I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that that situation is going to play out in the courts, and there's not a lot that I can do to move that process along.

I think it's unfortunate. I think it leaves both clubs with a degree of uncertainty; that it is not helpful. I look forward to the conclusion of that litigation so that, you know, everybody can go back about their business with knowledge as to what their economic circumstances are.

Q. How's it going? I know you've addressed this before --

COMMISSIONER MANFRED: It's raining, that's how it's going.

Q. I know you've addressed this before, but there's one Latino manager in baseball in the big leagues in a sport that's 30 percent Latino in the Major Leagues. I know you've addressed this before, but what would it take for the numbers to improve or for the process to change?

COMMISSIONER MANFRED: Well, look, I think that the process is as strong as possible in terms of making sure that when we have field manager openings, that diverse candidates, okay, I don't want to focus on Latino, African-American, whatever, but diverse candidates have an opportunity to get those jobs. That's what the Selig Rule is about.

But the individual clubs have now and should have the right to pick the manager that they think is most likely to make them successful on the field. What we'll do, and we will continue to do, is try to make sure that the candidates that are interviewed are the strongest possible candidates. And there are several pieces to that.

There's the pipeline piece in terms of making sure that we're hiring at entry-level positions, enough diverse candidates. There is the career-development piece; that is working with the existing diverse employees to make sure that they have a career path and a developmental plan with their club that makes them strong candidates.

And then the last piece is, when somebody gets an interview, working with them to make sure that they go into that interview process and can be the most effective possible.

Q. Just following up on that a little bit, do you think the things that Adam Jones said the other day, does that kind of -- does that help this conversation along? Does it hinder it? How do you feel in that regard?

COMMISSIONER MANFRED: Look, Adam Jones is a really thoughtful young man. He's entitled to his opinion.

My own view is that baseball remains the sport of Jackie Robinson. We are deeply committed to the idea, the concept, of diversity: Diversity in visible employment positions; diversity in employment positions that people don't pay as much attention to; diversity among our player ranks.

Probably the single biggest programatic effort that the Commissioner's Office runs relates to providing play opportunities in under-served areas in order to promote diversity in our player ranks. So we will continue to have programs that are designed to convince people that my view of the sport is the right one.

Q. We've heard for years and years and years, that yes, the Dodgers are on the docket to host an All-Star Game. Is that ever going to happen, and if so, when?

COMMISSIONER MANFRED: Well, it is going to happen at some point. I can't give you a date. The Dodger -- the current Dodger ownership group have expressed an interest in having an All-Star Game. They have been very forceful in that regard.

And I fully expect that there will be an All-Star Game in Los Angeles before I'm done being Commissioner.

Q. How long do you plan on being Commissioner?

COMMISSIONER MANFRED: (Laughs) that's a floating date.

You know one thing for sure: My date's not going to float that long, okay.

Q. With Game 7 of the World Series scheduled for November 4, is there any concerns that the season is too long; that the post-season is too long, given injury possibilities, weather, bad weather for classic games; do you worry about that?

COMMISSIONER MANFRED: We have played World Series games in November on a number of occasions. We've also played 162-game schedule for a very long time.

I am aware of the demands of playing 162 games in 183 days. We're in the midst of conversations with the MLB PA about the issues related to the length of the season and I really don't want to go beyond that. It belongs at the collective bargaining table, which is where it is right now.

Q. What did you think of the amount of time-outs of yesterday's game, especially on the Dodger's part; is that something that you'll keep in the back of your head for the off-season?

COMMISSIONER MANFRED: The issue of pace of play remains one that we focus on all the time. Obviously time-outs, breaks in the action, are particularly concerning with respect to the issue of pace of play.

Focusing on one game or another, particularly in the playoffs, I don't get too worked up about it. I mean, these are really important games, and people are going to take the time that they think they need to maximize their chance to win, and that's really what they should be doing at this point in the season.

Q. Over the last, maybe, two seasons, there's been a lot of discussion about celebrations, back flips, that kind of thing, motion on the field, has not been traditional in the game. What is your view on that? Do you think it highlights stars and excitement, or are you old school?

COMMISSIONER MANFRED: I actually think players being more demonstrative on the field is a good thing for the game. I think it's exciting.

Overall, baseball has always had unwritten rules that kind of govern what's appropriate and what's not appropriate. The way I think about the changes we've seen in the last couple of years, is that we have a really exciting new, young generation in the game. And just like the players 20 years ago, they are going to develop a set of unwritten rules as to what's acceptable and what's not.

I have great faith in our players; that they will use good judgment; that they will develop a set of rules that are respectful of the game, but also are reflective of the differences between these young players and the people that may be played a generation ago.

I think we should all embrace that. I think it's a good thing for the game.

Q. As replay continues to develop, how satisfied are you with the system the way it's going right now, and balance that with some of the complaints that you've heard?

COMMISSIONER MANFRED: Well, let's start with the biggest picture. I think replay is responsive to a very fundamental fan desire that we get important calls in games correct. So I see it as a tremendous positive in that regard.

I think that when you change the game, the safest place to make that change is when you're responding to something that your fans want. And I do believe that replay was something fans wanted.

The results of replay, if you look at them, and, you know, we do have the results for the season in, are actually positive. The average time of replay went down. The number of replays that took more than three minutes went down. And the number of replays that took, for example, 60 seconds or less, went up. Those are good things.

I think we need to continue, because we have concerns other than getting calls right; the most important of which is the pace of our game. We need to continue to focus on the replay system, use the very best technology possible, all with a goal of making the reviews as short as possible.

Q. Recently I believe in the All-Star Game we asked about the possibility of expansion; is this one of your priorities, new stadiums in Tampa and Oakland? In the last few weeks, there have been advances to believe that you could have something in plan soon for those cities.

COMMISSIONER MANFRED: Well, both Tampa -- both the ownership in Tampa and Oakland are hard at work on new stadiums.

I think that it would be fair to say that the process in Tampa has moved in a positive direction.

Oakland remains more challenging. Ownership has not yet identified a site that would work. There's a lot of uncertainty surrounding both football and baseball in Oakland, and that makes the situation very complicated.

I will tell you in terms of the possibility of expansion, new CBA has to get done. Both of those situations, Oakland and Tampa, have to be resolved before we could embark on any serious discussions about expansion.