MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred defends Diamondbacks, pushes rules changes

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred defends Diamondbacks, pushes rules changes

Diamondbacks

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred defends Diamondbacks, pushes rules changes

In a media session that began with pointed comments aimed at the players association’s unwillingness to consider rules changes, baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred stood firmly behind the Diamondbacks in their battle with Maricopa County over the costs of stadium upkeep at Chase Field.

“We take very seriously the obligation to have a major league-quality facility in each and every market,” Manfred said. “It’s absolutely clear from the material that has been made available to me there are serious maintenance needs that need to be met with respect to the stadium.”

Manfred spoke Tuesday from the Arizona Biltmore, the site of the Cactus League’s annual media day.

COMPLETE CACTUS LEAGUE COVERAGE

Manfred said he was in contact with owner Ken Kendrick and CEO Derrick Hall before the team filed a lawsuit last month suing the county for failing to “uphold its responsibilities” to fund up to $187 million in repairs and upgrades. The county argues that the lease agreement stipulates that those responsibilities fall on the team.

“That stadium, to be a major league-quality stadium, needs work,” Manfred said.

Most of Manfred’s remarks Tuesday seemed to stem from his frustration with the Major League Baseball Players Association, which he said rebuffed the league’s efforts to make any of a number of rules changes.

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