BOSTON (CBS) – Rob Manfred was elected as Major League Baseball’s tenth commissioner on Thursday, after being with the league on a full-time basis since 1998.
The 55-year old succeeds Bud Selig during a time of both prosperity and tribulation, because while the sport is thriving financially, there is waning interest among younger fans.
USA Today baseball columnist Bob Nightengale joined Dave Goucher and Hardy (filling in for Andy Gresh and Scott Zolak) on Friday to talk about the newly appointed MLB commissioner and how he can improve the sport.
One obvious way is to increase the pace of the game.
“The big thing is not so much the pitchers, but the hitters. I mean they’ll take a ball out of the strike zone, a ball outside, they’ll step outside of the box and fix just their gloves for 30 seconds, remember like Nomar used to do?”
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One thing Nightengale would like to see Manfred do a better job of is market their young stars, like Mike Trout, to its global market.
“Well hopefully he markets the younger guys better and gets more people excited that way. I’m not sure baseball has done a good job doing that.”
Another thing Nightengale hopes to see under Manfred is an increase in scoring.
“I don’t know what else you can do. People like to see runs scored and stuff like that. I’m not saying you start legalizing steroids again, but something’s gotta be done because right now we are having games that are lasting 3.5 hours with scores of 2-1; some really dull games.”
One way to create more offense? Implement the designated hitter position in the National League.
“There’s a lot of people that want to see both leagues have a DH. The reason that it was brought into the American League in the first place was to get more offense. You obviously didn’t need it, but you sure need it now. And with interleague play every single day, I think you gotta have the same rules for both leagues.”
How would you fix MLB? Listen below for the full interview: