Beginning January 24, 2015, MLB will have a new man in charge. It’s possible things won’t feel all that different after Bud Selig retires, however, as the new man is Selig’s man.
MLB COO Rob Manfred has been expected to succeed Selig for quite some time now, and, despite some late theatrics from a small subset of owners who wanted Red Sox owner Tom Werner to get the job, Manfred was elected today by 23 of the 30 owners.
On the plus side, Manfred is seen as a stability choice, able to carry on Selig’s legacy of labor peace and revenue growth (Manfred has been heavily involved on the labor side for going on 20 years). On the potential downside, Manfred is seen as cut from the same conservative cloth as Selig. Now is a time when baseball will require bold action to increase its currently youth-less audience. Hopefully Manfred is ready for that challenge.
My advice? Work on speeding up the pace of games, figure out a way to get the game’s young stars’ faces in front of potential young fans, figure out a way to capitalize on impending stories with national pop (like what the Cubs will likely be over the next five to ten years), and …
… bring the damn DH to the National League already.