Aug 14, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Newly elected commissioner of baseball Rob Manfred speaks at a press conference after being elected by team owners to be the next commissioner of Major League Baseball. Mandatory Credit: H.Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports
One of the most pressing issues that new MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred will have to deal with in the coming months is the ongoing dispute between the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos over MASN TV rights.
On his visit to the Nationals’ Youth Baseball Academy in Southeast Washington D.C. on Wednesday, Manfred showed optimism that a resolution would come sooner rather than later.
The dispute – which has been ongoing for several years now – is about how much money the Nationals should be getting from MASN each year. MASN and the Orioles believe that the network should pay the Nationals $35 million each year, whereas the Nationals have argued that they should be getting closer to $100-120 million. (Checkout District on Deck writer Darlene Langley’s article from last month for the latest on the ongoing legal dispute.)
While Manfred is optimistic about a resolution coming in the near future, several Nationals fans took to Twitter to voice their frustrations over the lack of progress the sides have made:
While the MASN dispute is one of the most important long-term issues facing the Nationals right now, the team is also trying hard to bring an All-Star game to the nation’s capital for the first time in Nationals history. And with the San Diego Padres set to host the 2016 All-Star game, it seems like the Nationals have a very good shot at hosting the Midsummer Classic in 2017 or 2018.
The one issue that remains, however, is that the Orioles have also shown interest in hosting the game and if they were chosen, they would probably host it in 2017 since two NL teams are already hosting it in 2015 and 2016. While that would still leave an opening for the Nationals to host in 2018, many believe that MLB is unlikely to select two teams that are so close to each other in consecutive years. Manfred, however, does not believe this is in a issue.
The MASN dispute and bringing an All-Star Game to D.C. are priorities for the Nationals right now, and there’s no doubt that the new Commissioner will play a major role in determining the outcome of both.