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Volume 25 No. 134

Leagues and Governing Bodies

Manfred and owners next week are expected to discuss rule proposals that arose at the GM Meetings

MLB owners will "vote next week on whether to give commissioner Rob Manfred a five-year contract extension" that would run through '24 during their meeting in Atlanta, according to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY. Manfred is "expected to receive unanimous approval," though he only needs "support from 16 of the 30 ownership groups" to get the extension. Manfred and the owners also are expected to "discuss new rules and proposals that arose at the annual GM Meetings," which concluded this week. That includes a 20-second pitch clock for '19, as well as ideas to "limit shifts, diminish the use of 'openers' instead of starting pitchers, and decrease the frequency of pitching changes." The competition committee will discuss potential rule changes in '19, which will then be "addressed with the owners" and the MLBPA (USA TODAY, 11/9). The league and MLBPA "likely will not decide until the eve of spring training whether to change" those rules in an "effort to increase action on the field next year" (AP, 11/8).

MEDIA MATTERS: The AP's Ronald Blum reported owners next week will vote on a "new television contract with Fox and an agreement for in-game cut-ins with the subscription video streaming service DAZN." A source said that DAZN "has been negotiating" a three-year, $300M deal with MLB (AP, 11/8).

Visser (r) said the impending shutdown became reality when 5-hour Energy decided to pull out of NASCAR

Furniture Row Racing Owner Barney Visser said he "did not see" his team needing to shut down operations after this season "at all" after claiming last year's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship. Visser sat down with FS1's Regan Smith and noted this season was the "first time ever we had the car fully funded and I wasn't having to dip into my pocket." Visser noted the impending shutdown became reality when he was told primary sponsor 5-hour Energy was "going to pull out" of NASCAR after this year. Visser: "I knew I couldn't make up the difference again. I couldn't just fill in, couldn't find anybody to back it up." FRR's Martin Truex Jr. won the Cup championship in '17, and Smith wondered what it says about the sport when a title-winning team has to shutdown. Visser took some responsibility, conceding he may have "screwed up and should have had some longer-term contracts." But he added, "I've got to see a financial benefit to it. We've got to get the cost out of running these race cars. He added there needs to be a way to get "more exposure to the sponsors that are on the race cars." Visser: "From that, everything else will fall into place." FS1's Jeff Hammond following the interview said he has "seen a lot of top-notch teams that had to shut their doors and a lot of it is because of lack of sponsorship." Hammond: "It doesn't matter who it is, you can't run one of these things without having the support." Visser has "shown he's committed to the sport." He "spent his own money and he had to make a decision and had to back out" ("NASCAR Race Hub," FS1, 11/8).