KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Praising the transition as quick and orderly, Bud Selig announced Thursday that baseball owners unanimously approved a five-year term for Rob Manfred, who will succeed the longtime commissioner early next year.
Selig spoke at the conclusion of two days of meetings in Kansas City, where owners discussed a variety of issues that included pace of play, instant replay and domestic violence initiatives.
Selig will chair his final owners’ meeting in January in Arizona.
“I’ve been so busy and every day is so frenetic that the last month or two, I’m sure I’ll spend a lot of time thinking about it,” Selig said, “but you know, we are where we want to be. We’re having a wonderful transition, orderly transition, good transition. That’s very important.”
Manfred, who has worked for MLB since 1998, was chosen to replace the 80-year-old Selig in August over Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner. He will assume office Jan. 25.
“It hits me every day when I go to work,” Manfred said. “I agree with Commissioner Selig, we’ve had a really productive and smooth transition.”
One of Manfred’s mandates will be to attract young fans back to baseball, and many believe that will involve speeding up the game. The average time of a nine-inning game increased from 2 hours, 33 minutes, in 1981 to a record 3:02 this year, with postseason games stretching nearly 4 hours.
Japan beats MLB All-Stars 6-4 in exhibition game: Yuki Yanagita greeted Randy Choate with a two-run single in the eighth inning, and Japan beat the Major League Baseball All-Stars 6-4 Thursday in an exhibition game following their five-game postseason tour.
Japan won the series 3-2 and the teams split a pair exhibition games that preceded and followed.
With Japan ahead 3-2 Thursday, Nobuhiro Matsuda doubled off Jose Veras leading off the eighth, and Ginji Akaminai walked. After a pair of bunts, Choate relieved, Yanagita singled and Ryosuke Kikuchi tripled for a 6-2 lead.
Justin Morneau had an RBI single in the bottom half, and Alcides Escobar hit a sacrifice fly in the ninth.
Shota Takada won by allowing one run — unearned — four hits and four walks in three innings, and Yuji Nishino pitched the ninth for the save. Loser Hector Santiago gave up two runs — one earned — and four hits in four innings.
Morneau’s sacrifice fly put the MLB All-Stars ahead in the first, but Kenta Imamiya hit a tying single in the second, Tetsuto Yamada had a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the fourth and Yoshihiro Maru tripled in a run off Tsuyoshi Wada in the fifth for a 3-1 lead.
Evan Longoria homered in the bottom half off Takahiro Matsuba.