Rob Manfred has only been Major League Baseball's commissioner for two years, but he's kept himself extremely busy in that time. Whether or not he's actually made major changes, he's at least entertained the thought time and time again during his tenure. He's discussed everything from expansion to banning shifts. Just in the last week, there have been rumors of a changed strike zone and new extra-inning rules. Now, he's thinking of changing the league's stance on one of its most controversial issues over its long history.
To say MLB and gambling have a history would be the understatement of all understatements. Two of the biggest scandals in league history involved betting. Obviously, I speak of the Black Sox scandal in 1919 and everything that's surrounded Pete Rose over the last few decades. Clearly, changing the league's stance on gambling won't change its stance on players taking part, but it's still jarring to see the league even consider getting close to that world.
On the other hand, it makes sense in today's world. Gambling has become more and more prominent in the sports world, particularly over the last few years as daily fantasy has blurred the definition. The NFL is the most popular league in the country, and gambling was a huge part of its rise to the top. The NBA, arguably the second-biggest league in the U.S., has already acknowledged the benefits of gambling. We've heard Manfred talk about plenty of big changes to baseball, but this could be among the most monumental.
- Remember those new potential extra-inning rules mentioned recently? If they happen, they would be a disaster.
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- Jeffrey Loria has been a nightmare of an owner for the Marlins, but now he might be close to selling the team.
- Chase Utley is still a free agent, but he might be close to a deal with Cleveland.
- Spring training is about to start, but that shouldn't stop the Yankees from adding to their roster.
- In Houston, they've gotten rid of Tal's Hill but at least we can expect more home runs now.
- Jason Hammel was introduced to Royals fans on Wednesday, and he made a hell of an impression.
- Red Sox fans are a little worried about Eduardo Rodriguez pitching in the World Baseball Classic, but it'll probably be OK.
- Lance Lynn is coming back from Tommy John, but Cardinals fans shouldn't worry about him returning to their rotation.
- Projections and analysts don't like the Orioles, but they did fine this offseason, according to Camden Chat.
- C.J. Wilson is officially done with baseball as he'll be busy with ... racing?