5 Biggest Challenges Facing Rob Manfred as MLB Commissioner

5 Biggest Challenges Facing Rob Manfred as MLB Commissioner

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

With long time MLB Commissioner Bud Selig retiring there are some big shoes to fill. Chief Operating Officer Rob Manfred has been elected to take on the position and it certainly won't be an easy job to handle. There a number of things in this game that need to be addressed. Changes will need to be made over time and Manfred will have to tackle these challenges head on if he plans on being a successful Commissioner.

5. The Midsummer Classic

2014 All-Star Game
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

5. The Midsummer Classic

2014 All-Star Game
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

In 2003 it was decided to award the winner of the All-Star game with home-field advantage in the World Series. This simply cannot go on anymore and I'm shocked it has made it this long without a change. The All-Star game is essentially a pickup game and should not count for anything let alone home-field advantage in the World Series. It doesn't make sense to have a game like this have a bearing on something that is much greater.

4. Speeding Up the Game

Mound visit
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

4. Speeding Up the Game

Mound visit
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The speed of the game has been an issue for over a decade and nothing has really been done to make games quicker. The reason baseball isn't appealing to the casual fan has a lot to do with the length of games. The average time of a game in 2014 is a little over three hours and people just don't want to sit around and watch a game for that long. This is a tough task but Manfred must have it at the top of his list to do something to shorten games.

3. Instant Replay

Umpires reviewing a call
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

3. Instant Replay

Umpires reviewing a call
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

2014 was the inception of instant replay in the MLB where calls could be challenged by managers. This needed to happen as umpires were getting calls wrong far too often and, in today's day and age, we have the technology to use to get it right. This was the first year of it so of course there were issues. Manfred needs to look back at this season and see how the use of instant replay can be fine-tuned.

2. Payroll

New York Yankees press conference introducing Jacoby Ellsbury
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

2. Payroll

New York Yankees press conference introducing Jacoby Ellsbury
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

This offseason the New York Yankees spent a ridiculous amount of money in free agency in order to upgrade their team. Small market teams like the Tampa Bay Rays and San Diego Padres cannot afford to go out and do the same. It has been an issue for years that big market teams have been able to throw money around and it has created an imbalance of power. Manfred needs to find a way to equal the playing field when it comes to the payroll.

1. Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs)

Milwaukee Brewers' Ryan Braun
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

1. Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs)

Milwaukee Brewers' Ryan Braun
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

One thing that Bud Selig will always be remembered for is the steroid-era in the late 90's to early 2000's. He made a conscious effort to rid the game of PEDs but they are no doubt still a part of this game. Manfred needs to crack down on users and there needs to be a stricter penalty for guys who are caught cheating. There is no room in the game for PEDs, so Manfred must make it a point of emphasis to clean the game up for good.