In his update, Manfred did not rule out the notion that other bidders could emerge, but for the moment the competition seems to be between two bidders.
For his part, Jeter has declined to discuss his involvement in the potential sale.
“There’s nothing to report on that,” Jeter said on Sunday at Yankee Stadium after a ceremony to retire his number and unveil his plaque in Monument Park. “Absolutely nothing. I think sometimes stories, people get ahead of themselves.”
Among other subjects addressed by Manfred was the restructuring of baseball’s competition committee, which considers all aspects of the game, including rules changes. Manfred announced the addition of more than a dozen new members, including four current managers, two former players in the Hall of Fame and two general managers.
Yankees Manager Joe Girardi and Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson are among the new members, as are the Hall of Famers Roberto Alomar and John Smoltz, and Managers Dave Roberts of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Buck Showalter of the Baltimore Orioles and Mike Matheny of the St. Louis Cardinals. Theo Epstein, the president of baseball operations for the defending world champion Chicago Cubs, has also been named to the committee.
“The competition committee was restructured to put us in a position that we had a more diverse group of people giving us input on various changes we’ve been talking about,” Manfred said.
Manfred said that among the issues the committee would consider were baseball’s pace-of-game problems, which have proved difficult to address. Despite recent efforts to speed up play, the average length of a nine-inning game this season is 3 hours 5 minutes, up from three hours in 2016 and 2:56 in 2015.
“I’d have to acknowledge a lack of progress at least on time of game, if not pace of game,” Manfred said. “As a matter of fact, we’ve probably gone backwards a little bit.”
On a separate issue, Manfred said a study of injuries sustained by players during the World Baseball Classic showed “there is no statistical difference for injury rates between players who participate in the W.B.C. and those who don’t.”
The Yankees lost shortstop Didi Gregorius for the first 20 games of the season, and Mets starting pitcher Seth Lugo has yet to return to action after being injured in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
“You can pick out individual players who were injured in the W.B.C., but if you look at the body of players, the rate of injury for those who participate is not significantly statistically different from those who did not participate,” Manfred said.
He added: “The players can do one of two things. They can go to spring training and do what they do in all non-W.B.C. years, or they can participate in the event. They are two different things. But the fact that you do different things does not seem to result in a different rate of injury.”
Manfred also said baseball would start live streaming of games on Facebook, beginning with Friday’s meeting between the Cincinnati Reds and the Colorado Rockies. Baseball already has an arrangement to stream games on Twitter. Those games, formerly streamed on Friday nights, will move to Tuesday to accommodate the deal with Facebook.
Manfred also said baseball was exploring the possibility of playing some games in Europe, possibly as soon as 2019. “It’s something we’d really like to do,” he said. “I can’t tell you we are going to do it. But we do think it’s time, whether its 2019 or shortly thereafter, that we play in Europe.”
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