MLB…Meet the New Boss.

Today is January 25th, 2015. I start with this simple calendar note because the date is important. This is the date that signifies a regime change in Major League Baseball. As midnight passed and the clock turned to Sunday morning, 12:00:01, a new commissioner of Major League Baseball took over the leadership of the league. Rob Manfred is the new commissioner of baseball, and he replaces the outgoing Bud Selig, who served for more than 23 years.
Bud Selig had a complicated and tenuous reign as commissioner. In fact, if you look at baseball history, the Selig era may have been the most arduous of them all. Selig had labor issues to be sure. There was even a cancelled World Series (1994) and a strike that is believed to have been engineered by him and a few select owners. There were massive contracts, the likes of which had never before been seen. But the biggest smudge on his reign will be marked with an asterisk…the Steroid Era.
Yes there was bad stuff. No relationship is 100% wine and roses. But on the on the other side of the coin, there was the expansion in the reach and popularity of the game on an international level that would have been unheard of in any other era. The domestic popularity of baseball has waned to some degree, but it is more profitable than ever. There is labor peace. Ownership and the players enjoy a good relationship now, and idea that was almost unthinkable when Selig took over in 1992. Yes, there was the whole PED debacle, but as a result, no major sport has more a more rigid testing protocol. There were many other positives of the Selig leadership. Overall, Bud Selig may very possibly go into the history books as one of, if not the best commissioner in the history of the league.
Incoming commissioner Rob Manfred inherits a league that is healthy and profitable. There are no labor issues waiting for him just around the first curve. But that is not to say that he will not face problems. There are the stadium issues in both Oakland and Tampa Bay. Complicating his issue is that there are not a lot of cities that are chomping at the bit to get a team. Baseball has seen a dip in the amount of youth playing the game, predominately in the inner-cities, where basketball and football are a more attractive option. There are initiatives in place, such as RBI (Reviving Baseball in the Inner-cities), but much more work remains to be done if baseball is to become a viable option fir these kids once again. Another issue that he will face is the one involving the length of games. A solution was initiated under the Selig watch, but it will be up to Commissioner Manfred to follow through with it, and bring it to the Major Leagues.
In closing, I would say ‘Thank You’ to Bud Selig for his good and faithful service to the game. I would also welcome Rob Manfred to baseballs front office, and wish him success and happiness as he takes over the reins of Our Game.
Meet the New Boss.

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