Manfred: Assertion that 'I hate the game' is 'most ridiculous thing'

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MLB commissioner Rob Manfred is tired of people saying that he hates baseball.

"It is the most ridiculous thing, among some fairly ridiculous things that get said about me," Manfred told Don Van Natta Jr. of ESPN. "The assertion that I hate the game - that one does rub me the wrong way. I have to tell you the truth."

Manfred received a lot of public criticism from fans and players during a 99-day lockout last offseason that almost cost the league an opportunity to play a 162-game campaign in 2022.

Many spectators also have an issue with regional broadcast blackouts.

"Our No. 1 business priority right now is reach," Manfred said. He added that MLB hates blackouts "as much as fans do," and the league is trying to find a way to deal with them.

The 63-year-old executive would also like to see expansion in the future.

"I would love to get to 32 teams," Manfred said.

Las Vegas, Nashville, and Portland have been mentioned as potential homes for MLB teams.

Manfred: Assertion that 'I hate the game' is 'most ridiculous thing'
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