clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Everything we learned from Rob Manfred during Cactus League Media Day

The commissioner said some ... interesting ... things.

World Series - Houston Astros v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Two Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Commissioner Rob Manfred took questions from the gathered press during the Cactus League’s annual Media Day, and not all of his answers instilled an overflowing sense of confidence or trust in the assembled media. After some of the comments he’s made so far this offseason, that probably shouldn’t be surprising.

From his statements, we found out some new things, confirmed some things that were confusing, and saw just how deep in denial Manfred is when it comes to teams tanking (and the way media is covering such tanking.) Here is everything we learned.

The league is still investigating balls

Yep, they’re still figuring out whether the balls are juiced or not. Can’t wait until all of the details about their balls are released for the public to read.

Manfred wants everyone to stop using the word “tanking”

Apparently, Manfred isn’t a big fan of people using “tanking” to describe what’s happening with multiple teams in the league, resorting to that old favorite of excuses — that this is “a cyclical sport.” Baseball writers and fans everywhere laughed.

About what was said yesterday in regards to pace of play changes ...

Is Manfred making this up on the fly? No, seriously, we’re asking. The league haphazardly vomited those changes out Monday with little to no clarity or context, and now he’s trying to provide that clarity on the fly.

On Monday, it appeared that should a seventh mound visit be attempted by teams this season — exceeding the newly imposed limit of six — the visit would just be disallowed by the umpire. Which sounds like it could lead to some hilarious misunderstandings. But now, apparently a seventh mound visit requires a pitching change ...

... but only if it’s by a manager or a coach ...

... or a catcher?

Okay great. Glad that’s all clarified.

Pace of play changes are only here because of the broadcast audience

This particular reveal was something many people following the sport could have already guessed, but Manfred laid it out clearly for everyone. The new pace of play rules are catering to those sitting at home watching on TV. That makes sense if you care about your broadcast dollars and makes less sense if you care about what all of your fans want.

But the league says it came to that conclusion based on its own research, so it must be true.

Wrigley Field is probably getting the All-Star Game, maybe

Manfred was cagey but hinted toward the Cubs hosting the All-Star Game soon. As soon as they fix their visitors locker room situation, that is.

The balls investigation isn’t the only one the league has going on right now

Who leaked Shohei Ohtani’s medical records this winter? The league still has no clue who did, but it’s hard at work figuring it out. Manfred said, “We have not been able to do that (find leak). But we have not given up.”

He might have let slip some details about the A’s new stadium

Manfred visited a potential stadium site, near Howard Terminal, and “remains optimistic” that a deal can go through. Despite various issues — such as transportation — that need to be handled first.

But is he more optimistic than he’s letting on? Hmmmm ...