MLB Notes: League To Implement Code Of Conduct For Fans Starting Next Season
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said that the league "plans to issue a policy on fan behavior for all ballparks next season." Manfred said that he "didn't want to talk about the details of what will be in the code of conduct for spectators" (AP, 8/23). ESPN.com's Scott Lauber reported the issue was "discussed at the quarterly owners meetings last week in Chicago and is expected to come up again when the owners reconvene in November." A source said that MLB is "seeking to establish a set of minimum behavioral standards and consequences that are uniform across the league" (ESPN.com, 8/22).
HOT TOPIC: In Detroit, Anthony Fenech reports Manfred yesterday was "on the defensive again" on the topic of the home run rate rising, "insisting there is no tangible difference in the balls used these days." Asked if the balls are different now than they have been in previous seasons, Manfred said, “There is nothing that is different about the baseball. ... The ball is the same and within the same specifications.” He added, "I don’t have a view that more home runs are necessarily better than less home runs. I do know two things from our fan research. ... That fans like home runs. That’s a good thing" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 8/23).
FINAL COUNTDOWN: The average MLB game has increased 9 minutes from the '15 season, and in S.F., Bruce Jenkins wrote Manfred "seems obsessed with pitch clocks -- one of the really terrible ideas in the history of sports -- and ignores a crucial factor: This alarming increase is all about instant replay." A’s manager Bob Melvin said, "I’m not a huge fan of it, to tell you the truth. Certain plays demand it, but we’re having to stop the game way too often, and the decisions (from New York headquarters) take far too long to come down" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 8/19).
AIRING OUT FEELINGS: A NEWSDAY editorial stated for all MLB games between Aug. 25-27, the league "somehow got the dumb idea to celebrate Players Weekend by allowing snazzy gear and nicknames rather than last names on uniforms." The Yankees have "never included last names, let alone fake ones, on their uniforms." And instead of the "traditional pinstripes at home and gray on the road, they will don navy blue pullovers." This will be a "sad first for the storied franchise." The marketing ploy will "probably sell a few more jerseys," but "even those dreamers might recoil from the sight of the particular nicknames baseball’s finest have claimed" (NEWSDAY, 8/21).