MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred held another press conference on Tuesday in Arizona. During the Q&A he lamented that the MLBPA is blocking a couple of proposed rule changes to try to speed up the game. However, he also emphasized that the extra-inning rule only will be used in development leagues. Meanwhile other rule changes will now be prepared for the 2018 season, which can be implemented without the approval of the players. One change is rumored to be coming after all already in 2017, a new rule for intentional base on balls. Similar to softball an intentional walk would be simply signaled from the dugout without pitches being thrown.
Besides rule changes Manfred also talked about the Olympics and the future of the World Baseball Classic:
“I intend to keep the WBC alive and growing as long as I’m Commissioner. The WBC serves two really, really important purposes, I think purposes that are crucial to the future of the game. One is the internationalization of the sport. It’s great to have an opportunity for some of our very, very best players to play in Korea, Japan, Mexico. That’s outstanding. It’s important for growing the game.
“Secondly, given our status currently with respect to the Olympics, the money that the WBC funnels into federations that they can use for development is crucial to the grassroots growth of the game in those countries. As much as I love the event, and I do love the event, it’s those two purposes that make me committed to it going forward.”
“With respect to Tokyo and the Olympics, we have yet to have a description from the federation or the Olympic committee as to exactly what they envision for baseball in 2020,” Manfred said. “Absent that description, a detailed description, how many games, how many days, how many players, I’m just not in a position to tell you what this issue will take.”