Commissioner Rob Manfred announced at the MLB owners meeting a revamped competition committee that includes active managers, general managers, baseball operations officials, former players, team presidents and one broadcaster. Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is a member of the panel.
“They asked me, and I’m interested in the good of the game,” Roberts said Thursday. “When Major League Baseball comes to you to be part of a committee with a lot of notable people that I respect in the game, obviously it’s an opportunity that I jumped on.”
Roberts said the group will meet by way of conference calls throughout the regular season. The goal is to assist Manfred in potentially improving pace of play and the overall on-field product.
“The competition committee was restructured to put us in a position that we had a more diverse group of people giving input on various changes that we’ve been talking about,” Manfred said.
Roberts found himself again fielding questions about pace of play one day after the Dodgers and San Diego Padres played a four-hour, 11-minute game. It was the longest nine-inning game in Petco Park history.
“You know what’s funny?” Roberts began, “I didn’t realize how long that game took. When you’re in the game, trying to manipulate and manage through things, and I’m not saying that the people who want the game sped up aren’t baseball purists, I understand the majority of people want to see a quicker product, want to see more action, but part of what makes this game great is the strategies.”
Other managers included in the competition committee are Joe Giradi of the New York Yankees, Mike Matheny of the St. Louis Cardinals, and Buck Showalter of the Baltimore Orioles.
New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, Cleveland Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti, Seattle Mariners executive vice president and GM Jerry Dipoto, Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein, and Toronto Blue Jays president and CEO Mark Shapiro comprise the front office personnel on the committee.
The ownership group consists of Pittsburgh Pirates president Frank Coonelly, Texas Rangers co-chairman and managing partner Ray Davis, Washington Nationals principal owner Mark Lerner, Miami Marlins president David Samson, and Boston Red Sox chairman Tom Werner.
Hall-of-Famers Roberto Alomar and John Smoltz round out the 16-person competition committee.