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MLB

5 Changes Rob Manfred Should Make as MLB Commissioner

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Rob Manfred MLB Commissioner

Rob Manfred MLB Commissioner
H.Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Chief Operating Officer Rob Manfred will become the 10th commissioner of baseball following the conclusion of the 2014 season. Manfred, an American lawyer and business executive, will succeed Bud Selig, and will face immediate pressure to alter several flawed segments of the league's current structure, including controversial rule changes and revenue distribution. Manfred's agenda remains unknown — but rest assured, changes are coming.

5. Increase Intra-Division Scheduling

Rob Manfred Tony Gwynn Memorial
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

5. Increase Intra-Division Scheduling

Rob Manfred Tony Gwynn Memorial
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The current unbalanced scheduling structure was implemented in 2013 upon the Houston Astros' transition to the AL, which created an odd numbers of teams in each league (15). The result spurred an increase in inter-league play (20 games). While inter-league play has been economically beneficial, baseball needs an influx of new rivalries. Decreasing division games from 76 to 60 while increasing intra-division play to 82 games would accomplish that.

4. Establish 3-Game Wild Card Series

2014 MLB Wild Card Game
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

4. Establish 3-Game Wild Card Series

2014 MLB Wild Card Game
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

The fifth Wild Card has added intrigue to the pennant race in each respective league, but the one-game playoff system currently in place needs to change. Some argue that an added three-game playoff series is too much, given the length of the regular season. Establishing a three-game series would both benefit division winners (longer lay-off) and increase postseason TV revenue. It would also guarantee both teams at least one home game.

3. Revise Home Plate Collision Rule

Robin Ventura Chicago White Sox
Kelley L. Cox-USA TODAY Sports

3. Revise Home Plate Collision Rule

Robin Ventura Chicago White Sox
Kelley L. Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Rule 7.13 was enacted to protect catchers at the plate. The home plate collision rule is commonly referred to as the "Buster Posey Rule," although it likely wouldn't have been established if Detroit Tigers catcher Alex Avila wasn't blown up in the 2013 ALCS. The rule is extremely vague in plain text. It needs to be changed to reflect distance between the catcher and runner, and also specify exactly what "blocking the plate" actually means.

2. Eliminate MLB Replay System

MLB Replay System
Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

2. Eliminate MLB Replay System

MLB Replay System
Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

The experimental MLB replay system has been detrimental to the game, and has proven to be mostly inefficient. The flawed system has created more problems than solutions, altering the outcomes of games on the 27th out in some cases. Manfred must take a stand on this pressing issue and limit replay use to fair or foul calls, and plays at the plate. There is no need for managers challenging safe or out calls at first base in the first inning.

1. Minimize Revenue-Sharing

Bud Selig MLB Commissioner
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

1. Minimize Revenue-Sharing

Bud Selig MLB Commissioner
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The biggest reason why Manfred was voted as the next MLB Commissioner over challenger Tom Werner was perhaps the latter's bold stance on overhauling the league's revenue-sharing process. Manfred should take a similar stand, though, and limit revenue-sharing to a minimum in order to hold every team accountable for its own monetary resources. As it stands, the 15 biggest earners will become disqualified from receiving revenue sharing in 2016.