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  • What was your level of concern That we wouldn't get to this point that we are today?

  • Well, I guess the best way Thio say that is we had some very nervous days.

  • Um, early on, obviously well documented the issues we had with the Marlins and the Cardinals.

  • Uh, obviously, when you're talking about people's health, um, you have to be cautious.

  • And it was a genuine concern for May, with all the bickering over the amount of games that would to be played, the money to be divvied up.

  • How tough personally for you was it to get the season started?

  • Look, the beginning of the season, um, was getting to the beginning of the season was not a great chapter for the game.

  • Um, you know, I am sorry that we subjected our fans to that, um, but it was a very, very difficult situation.

  • Um, I think some of the expectations as toe what could be accomplished in the context of the pandemic were just too high.

  • And, um, we did resist the temptation to try to bite off too much.

  • Um and, um, got, I think, a season that was reasonable and obviously one that we were able to complete.

  • We're being joined by Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred, just hours away from Game one of the World Siri's tonight in Arlington between the Tampa Bay Rays in the Los Angeles Dodgers, which you can hear keys Dodgers you can here on ESPN radio with pre game coverage starting at 7 30 p.

  • M.

  • Eastern Commissioner Manfred.

  • Given that we've made it this far with all of the acrimony between your side and Tony Clark in the Major League Baseball Players Association, how would you describe the relationship you have with the MLB P A right now?

  • Well, I think that, you know, it's important to take the perspective, labor relations.

  • You're gonna have your ups and downs.

  • You're not gonna see eye to eye on every issue.

  • Um, I think, um, once I announced the 60 game season, the cooperation that we've gotten from Tony and the Players Association has been really, really good.

  • Um, they helped us tremendously, um, after the initial outbreaks, in terms of tightening the protocols and and, you know, speaking to players encouraging players how important it was to adhere to those protocols and then you know, later on in the summer.

  • Um, they agreed with us that that we should get in tow a single site, you know, bubble type format.

  • For the postseason.

  • We were able to reach that agreement.

  • We're through the, You know, the logistics of that was really difficulty and, you know, required additional sacrifice for players.

  • So, you know, we've had great cooperation from the union once we got going, Commissioner, What led to the decision to allow fans in the stadium for both the NLCS as well as the world?

  • Siri's?

  • Well, um number one.

  • We were in any jurisdiction that allowed, um, gatherings of the numbers that that we're talking about.

  • Um, obviously, we were never going to do anything that was contrary.

  • Thio What?

  • The public health officials, um, believed what was appropriate.

  • Um, once we had that flexibility, I we went to our experts.

  • Um, we had extensive conversations about how we could have fans in the ballpark.

  • How many we could have, what protocols we needed to follow in order to make sure that, uh, it was safe.

  • And once those experts, um, came back with a plan that that that we thought was sound.

  • We really didn't believe it was important, um, to try toe move towards a more normal environment, Um, where people could get back in the ball park and enjoy Major League Baseball.

  • Commissioner.

  • I wanted to ask you the initial outbreaks with the Marlins and the Cardinals, which threw everything into a tizzy.

  • Schedule wise, if I'm not mistaken at the end of the day, all but two teams actually completed their 60 regular season games.

  • So pretty much almost the entire regular season was played.

  • And now I mentioned the nearly two months without a positive test for Cove in 19 because of your great players.

  • As you said, I wonder, what does that mean for possibly getting back toe 162 games next season?

  • Here?

  • Wow.

  • Look, one thing that I've learned, um, during this pandemic, um, the prediction business is a dangerous business.

  • Obviously, we would love to play 1 62.

  • Um, you know, it is our business.

  • It's the season that our fans, um expect in love.

  • Um, and you know, the only caveat on it is what's gonna happen with respect to, um, what has proven to be a very unpredictable virus?

  • Are you confident that the season will start on time in 2021.

  • You know, I have Thio.

  • I have to give you the same answer.

  • Our plan is Thio.

  • Um, start on our regular schedule.

  • We've issued a schedule for next year.

  • Um, but, um, I think that the reality is all planning for 2021 for us and for, you know, every other business in America has to have an asterisk next to it in terms of what the course of the virus is going to be.

  • Indeed, obviously the virus is in control.

  • Lastly, this is something I always wonder when I see Commissioner Bettman, Commissioner Goodell, Commissioner Silver And, of course, yourself, um, it's a long, hard road to get here.

  • Pandemic labor.

  • Obviously you have a labor lawyer background.

  • What's it just like for you to be able to as a fan, like millions of us do sit back and watch the world?

  • Siri's knowing that you'll be handing out that trophy.

  • I know you're a professional.

  • You run Major League baseball a $10 billion a year industry.

  • But what's it just like for you at this time of year?

  • I think that, um the greatest thing about the postseason, actually, in the world, Siri's being the culmination of it is it is the one time a year, Um, when I really get back to being a fan, I watch a ton of both season baseball.

  • I try to see a ZMA much of it live as I possibly can.

  • Um, and it is, um, a welcome respite from the business side of the game just to go to the ballpark, be a fan and enjoy what we regard to be, um, the greatest game in the world real quick.

  • Before I let you go, you will be attending the games, Correct?

  • Oh, yeah, I'll be in.

  • I actually attended, um, a game at each of the division Siri's sites so I could see the bubbles.

  • And I will be in Texas tonight and therefore the duration.

  • Thanks for watching ESPN on YouTube for live streaming sports and premium content.

What was your level of concern That we wouldn't get to this point that we are today?

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Rob Manfred on the keys to flattening the MLB's COVID-19 curve and the 2021 season | KJZ

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/10/24
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