The Major League Baseball season is well underway, but it hasn’t been the smoothest start for Rob Manfred. Between the backlash over moving the All Star game from Atlanta and the never-ending battle to maintain viewership, the commissioner has had a tough month.
However, Manfred reportedly got an interesting piece of advice from a high-profile source recently: NBA commissioner Adam Silver.
It’s no surprise that the two leaders have had conversations over the years, but the information that was exchanged was particularly fascinating. While speaking on Sportico Live, Manfred shared that Silver told him to stop talking about trying to change the pace of the game of baseball.
The reason why? The pace of baseball would be perfect for in-game sports betting.
Prior to telling his story about Silver, Manfred acknowledged that sports betting could be a “massive opportunity for fan engagement” in baseball, according to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.
Rob Manfred on Sportico Live: “Sports betting is a massive opportunity for fan engagement.”
He said Adam Silver told him to stop talking about pace of game, because baseball’s pace of game is perfect for sports betting (meaning wagering between pitches and innings).
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) April 27, 2021
MLB has tried ferociously over the last few seasons to speed up the pace of play, but with little success. Silver makes a solid point that baseball might be well-suited to stick with their current game and find other ways to maximize engagement.
With sports betting continuing to expand around the country, Manfred may be able to implement the plan in the near future. However, baseball fans weren’t thrilled that it took the commissioner speaking to Silver to think of the idea.
Adam Silver is a better MLB Commissioner than Rob Manfred. https://t.co/G2oYp8NCUM
— Alec Palmer (@alecpalmer__) April 27, 2021
This will go over well. https://t.co/bnMg3fboDK
— Jesse Dougherty (@dougherty_jesse) April 27, 2021
People asked me, when I started my newsletter, if I thought it’d be hard to come up with enough content every day.
You ask for miracles, Theo, I give you the Commissioner of Baseball. https://t.co/0mlHGWHQjf
— Craig Calcaterra (@craigcalcaterra) April 27, 2021
It’ll be interesting to see if Manfred and MLB lean into sports betting over the next few years and how that might affect baseball’s prospects in the United States.
The post MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred Reveals Advice From Adam Silver appeared first on The Spun.