Rob Manfred has been intertwined with MLB since 1987 when he began assisting with collective bargaining. Over the years, he progressively took on more significant roles, becoming the executive vice president in 1998. His expertise in labor relations and economics played a vital role in shaping the league’s direction over 17 years. In January 2015, he officially succeeded Bud Selig as commissioner, commencing a new era for baseball.
During his tenure, Manfred has overseen remarkable financial growth for MLB, achieving record revenues for the sport. His leadership has not been without challenges, as controversies like the Houston Astros‘ sign-stealing scandal and labor disputes with players’ associations have put him in the spotlight. However, Manfred’s vision for the sport has driven rule changes, such as the pitch clock, and anticipated the changes in media consumption.
Under Manfred’s guidance, MLB has rebounded strongly after two challenging years impacted by the pandemic. The league’s revenue surpassed $10.8 billion in 2022, a testament to Manfred’s ability to navigate through difficult times successfully. Despite his efforts to make the league more profitable, he also made some unpopular decisions, such as the scaling down of minor leagues and the Athletics‘ impending move from Oakland to Las Vegas.
Building Momentum and Responding to Fans
Throughout his time as commissioner, Rob Manfred has demonstrated a keen focus on fan engagement and innovation. By implementing rule changes that appeal to fans, such as the pitch clock, he has managed to inject more action and excitement into the game. Additionally, his foresight regarding changes in media consumption has ensured that fans can stay connected to their beloved teams during uncertain times, such as Diamond Sports Group’s bankruptcy proceedings.
“It is an honor to serve the best game in the world and to continue the pursuit of strengthening our sport on and off the field. This season our players are displaying the most vibrant version of our game, and sports fans are responding in a manner that is great for Major League Baseball’s future. Together, all of us in the game will work toward presenting our sport at its finest and broadening its reach and impact for our loyal fans”, Manfred said in a statement.
The decision to grant Manfred’s extension came after a meeting of owners in Washington. Although the specific breakdown of the 30 votes was not disclosed, it’s evident that Manfred enjoyed substantial support from the owners. During his tenure, Manfred has overseen remarkable financial growth for MLB. In 2022, he was notably compensated with a salary of $17.5 million, reflecting his substantial contributions to the league’s success.