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Top 5 Things on Rob Manfred’s To-Do List as New MLB Commissioner

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Top 5 Things on Rob Manfred's To-Do List as New MLB Commissioner

rob manfred
H.Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports

Rob Manfred has officially been named the successor to outgoing MLB commissioner Bud Selig, who will retire at the end of the 2014 season. Manfred takes over with the game at a crossroads. Here's five things he needs to do in order to get the game going back in the right direction.

5. Revise Wildcard Round Format

rob manfred
H.Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports

5. Revise Wildcard Round Format

rob manfred
H.Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels -- the first AL wildcard team -- has been head and shoulders above the rest of the AL wildcard race for much of the season. That said, there's a chance they could go into the Wildcard play-in game as the underdog, if Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners get the second spot. That shouldn't happen, and it's one of the current system's many flaws. Either make it a series or do away with it.

4. Put The DH In The National League

clayton kershaw los angeles dodgers
Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

4. Put The DH In The National League

clayton kershaw los angeles dodgers
Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

The AL and NL are different leagues in name only. But in 1973, the American League adopted the designated hitter rule, playing a different brand of baseball since. It's time to make the rules uniform. Adopt the AL style for both leagues. It's the more exciting version of the game, and it keeps pitchers out of the batter's box, taking away a virtual automatic out and lowering the injury risk to a position in which so much money is invested.

3. Stiffen Steroid Penalties

alex rodriguez new york yankees
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

3. Stiffen Steroid Penalties

alex rodriguez new york yankees
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

It's clear the steroid penalties aren't stiff enough. Otherwise there'd be no traces of PED use in baseball today. It's as simple as a two-and-done policy. First time, your contract is voided. Second time, lifetime ban. Start hitting players in the wallet, where it hurts the most. Poll every MLB player and ask if they'd rather lose 0 million or the right to play baseball. Guarantee more than not would rather not lose 0 million.

2. Market The Stars Better

mike trout los angeles angels
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

2. Market The Stars Better

mike trout los angeles angels
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

One of the biggest problems facing the game is that the game has nobody to love and nobody to hate. The game needs heroes and villains. Players that fans hold strong opinions of. The stronger the opinion, the more robust the discussion. The more robust the discussion, the more exposure it gets. Just look at the way the stars in the NBA and NFL are handled.

1. Speed The Games Up

MLB fan
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

1. Speed The Games Up

MLB fans
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The pacing of the games is simply too slow. There's too much time between pitches. Worse, there's too much time between innings. The game doesn't need a clock put in or time constraints added. What it needs is for the rules involving time between pitches and innings to actually be enforced.