NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Rob Manfred doesn’t sound like a commissioner who will be presiding any time soon over two leagues that use the designated hitter.
Talking to WFAN’s Mike Francesa on Monday, Manfred said he doesn’t believe there’s enough support from National League owners to implement the DH, adding that he’s fine with that.READ MORE: Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo Charged With Misdemeanor Forcible Touching
“Me personally, league identity still matters to us,” he said. ” … And the DH is really the distinguishing feature between those leagues. I actually think it’s an important distinguishing feature for us.”
The commissioner’s comments struck a different tone than remarks he made following owners meetings in January, in which Manfred said that today’s National League owners may be more receptive to adding the DH.
Francesa also asked Manfred if he has given any thought to scrapping the rule that awards home-field advantage in the World Series to the team whose league won the All-Star Game.READ MORE: Student, 14, Arrested With Loaded Handgun At Brooklyn High School
Manfred noted that previously home-field advantage was simply rotated between the leagues year to year.
“Nothing particularly intellectually correct about that,” the commissioner said.
“I’ve been going to All-Star Games since 1989, and we did go through a period of time where the play of the game on the field was different and worse as a result of a lack of focus by the players,” Manfred added. “And whatever you say about the rule in terms of the postseason, I think it has served the purpose of getting the players focused on the game, more engaged in the game and kept the All-Star Game what I still regard to be the best All-Star Game in professional sports.”MORE NEWS: FDNY Unions Protest Vaccine Mandate For NYC Workers, First Responders: 'We Currently Have A Staffing Shortage As It Is'
To listen to the full interview with Manfred, in which he also discussed efforts to speed up the game and how the sport will recognize tainted stats from the steroid era in the future, click on the audio player above.