Manfred was in town as part of tour of MLB cities and stadiums.
Making his season-long tour of stadiums and organizations throughout baseball, the latest stop for Rob Manfred, the commissioner of Major League Baseball, was Safeco Field on Wednesday.
Manfred spent a considerable amount of time with Mariners ownership, specifically Chief Executive Officer John Stanton and Chris Larson, a high-ranking ownership group member. He also talked extensively with general manager Jerry Dipoto and even spent a little time with manager Scott Servais.
Want to bet the World Baseball Classic and the injury issues of Drew Smyly and Felix Hernandez were discussed with Dipoto and Servais?
Manfred held a press conference where he addressed the usual topics of pace of play, a pitch clock (that’s going to happen), growing the sport in the U.S. and internationally, the preponderance of homers this season, the perceived changes to the baseball, the posting of Shohei Ohtani and the problems of having an expanded 40-man roster in September.
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He started by complimenting Stanton.
“John Stanton has become a really important addition to our ownership group,” Manfred said. “Unbelievable insights with respect to the media portion of our business in particular. He’s become an important member of the business and media board that oversees the operations of MLB.com and oversaw the BAMtech transaction. It’s particularly good to spend time with a newer owner that has brought a lot to the game.”
Beyond the typical macro topics, the conversation went micro to a few things directly involving the Mariners. Manfred was asked if the Mariners had contacted him about hosting a future All-Star game. Sources told the Times in July that the Mariners had put in a formal bid to host.
“John Stanton has made me aware that Seattle is interested in an all-star game,” Manfred said. “I was here the last time they had an all-star game and it was a great host city. I’d love to do it again. I will say this: we have unprecedented levels of interest in All-Star games right now. It’s really become a fantastic event. The re-invigoration of the home run derby has helped. We have a lot of teams interested, but Seattle is certainly one of the ones that is in the mix.”
Stanton confirmed the conversation with Manfred and Seattle’s interest, which goes beyond the one conversation. But admitted…