MLB commissioner Rob Manfred shared his vision of the game that could include more than 30 franchises pay per head sportsbook sources reports today.
Manfred who appeared at a Baseball Writers Association of America luncheon at the All-Star Game in Cincinnati, said he’s open minded about MLB expanding for the first time since the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Rays came on board in 1998.
“Maybe one of the reasons I got this job is, I’m bullish on this game,” Manfred said. “I think we are a growth business, broadly defined. And over an extended period of time, growth businesses look to get bigger. So yeah, I’m open to the idea that there will be a point in time where expansion may be possible.”
Per essential software of bookmakers, Manfred has a list of cities that might be options for expansion or possible relocation from existing markets. Tampa Bay and Oakland have been mentioned as markets that could eventually risk losing their teams. Montreal, Charlotte, North Carolina, San Antonio, Portland, Oregon, Las Vegas, Oklahoma City, northern New Jersey, Mexico City or Monterrey, Mexico, is among the markets that could eventually land new franchises.
“The mayor is an enthusiastic supporter of bringing baseball back to Montreal,” Manfred said. “I happen to believe that Montreal has a great baseball history, which is a nice thing. And the market wildly supported two exhibition games in each of the last two years. Having said all that, it’s a long ways from two exhibition games to 81 home games in a facility that is consistent with major league standards.”
“Everybody started talking about eight Royals starters,” Manfred said. “At the time, I said publicly, ‘Fans have a way of fixing these things.’ I think you saw fans in places like Detroit, with Miguel Cabrera, and Houston, with Jose Altuve, where fans said, ‘They had their say, but our guy is better.’
“That sort of fan reaction is a really good thing for our game, and it gives you confidence that fan voting is a good mechanism for engagement. Things also have a way of correcting themselves when they get out of whack.”
“Obviously we had a very serious injury,” Manfred said. “It concerns us. But making a major change to the game in a reactive mode, I believe, is a mistake. We set minimum standards, and obviously the clubs remain free to do what they want to do in their own ballparks.”