Commissioner Rob Manfred Eyes MLB Expansion To 32 Teams: Is Your City On The List?

By John Carlo A. Villaruel
on Jul 19, 2018 09:12 AM EDT
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Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred is not closing in on the possibility of expanding the league to 32 teams.

Manfred, who has been taking an aggressive approach on hosting international games, said that among of his goals as a commissioner is to expand the sport beyond its current state. Among the places that are viable in terms of baseball include Portland, Las Vegas, Nashville, and Charlotte.

The commissioner also added that they are hoping to have teams from Montreal and Vancouver in Canada. Additionally, Manfred hinted that they might be going over to Mexico in the near future to look for places who can adapt to the game.

"Okay, look, I hope I'm around long enough to see us expand. I really do. I think 32 would be great for our sport," Manfred said.

Manfred revealed that a 32-team field would allow the MLB to figure out a format of eight four-team divisions. In addition, it would also change the postseason format as well as make the scheduling of games easier.

The Present State Of MLB

Currently, the league is made up of 30 teams such as Tampa Bay Rays, Oakland Athletics, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels, Minnesota Twins, and the New York Yankees. Completing the American League are the Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, and the Toronto Blue Jays.

On the other hand, the National League is comprised of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Colorado Rockies, Los Angeles Dodgers, Miami Marlins, and the Milwaukee Brewers. Other teams include the New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, and the Washington Nationals.

MLB Has More Work To Do

Nonetheless, MLB will need to secure new ballparks for the Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays before expanding the league. CBS Sports journalist R.J. Anderson added that the league is unlikely to sacrifice the leverage of having alternate markets.

Meanwhile, Manfred also defended the legalization of gambling by the league, citing that the game of gambling can drive the engagement of fans. He added that the league is just taking full advantage of the fan engagement opportunity without undermining the sport.

"No rap on state regulators, but when it comes to Major League Baseball, we don't delegate integrity to anybody else. It's our responsibility, and we intend to accept that responsibility. So that's the challenge," Manfred closed.

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