MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announces his tenure will end after current contract expires


Major League Baseball will have a new commissioner in five years.

Rob Manfred told reporters in Florida Thursday his tenure as commissioner will end when his contract expires in 2029.

“I’m 65. I just started a five-year term. Do that math. That makes me 70 years old. You can only have so much fun in one lifetime,” Manfred said.


Major League Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr. speaks to the media during the Spring Training Cactus League Media Day at Arizona Biltmore Feb. 15, 2023, in Phoenix, Ariz. (Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

The commissioner said he has been open with owners in explaining he is on the back nine of his tenure.

Manfred took over for Bud Selig Jan. 25, 2015, after Selig had held the role since 1992.

Manfred’s tenure has been tenuous to say the least. He probably received the biggest backlash when he opted not to punish any members of the 2017 Houston Astros after their sign-stealing scandal. He did so to get the truth on what happened.

But it is a move for which he has since shown regret. He received further criticism when he said he didn’t understand why people were so upset about “a piece of metal,” meaning the World Series trophy.

Manfred was also critical of the players during the lockout from December 2021 to March 2022, and he also has recently been in a war of words with Oakland officials regarding the Athletics‘ eventual move to Las Vegas.

However, his main goal when he took over was to speed up the game’s slow pace of play, and he hit a grand slam with that mission. 

Rob Manfred at the Baseball Hall of Fame

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred speaks during the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony at Clark Sports Center July 24, 2022, in Cooperstown, N.Y. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

It took a while, largely due to backlash from baseball purists. But ahead of the 2023 season, Manfred installed measures to make games quicker and bring more action, including a pitch timer, shift limitations and larger bases, to go along with previous changes in mound visit limitations.

According to Baseball Reference, the average nine-inning game took two hours and 39 minutes to complete last season, more than 31 minutes faster than the record 3:10 in 2021. It was the first time the average nine-inning game took less than three hours to complete since 2015, and the 2:39 duration was the lowest since 1985, when the average nine-inning contest took the same amount of time.


Only 0.4% of games took over 3½ hours, as opposed to 18.7% in 2021. And 30.5% of games in 2023 took less than 2½ hours, versus 2.5% three years ago.

The rule changes also led to an increase in attendance despite cries from fans that the game was changing too much. MLB drew 70.7 million fans to its stadiums in 2023, the most since 2017.

Rob Manfred speaks in February 2023

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred speaks to the media at Grapefruit League Media Day in Dunedin, Fla., Feb. 16, 2023. (Jonathan Dyer/USA Today Sports)


Backlash aside, players adjusted to the pitch clock. According to data MLB provided at the All-Star break, the number of violations per game up to that point went down from 0.87 opening day to 0.23 on the final day of the first half of the season.

There was a violation on just 0.14% of pitches throughout the season. In March and April, there was a violation once every 417 pitches. In September and October, they occurred once every 1,195 pitches. There also were 4,374 stolen base attempts, the most since 2012.

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