Rob Manfred: Commissioner, Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball Commissioner Robert Manfred discusses his efforts to bring new energy and enthusiasm to baseball among fans and the next generation of players, and the ways in which technology and data analytics are helping to modernize the sport.
On how data analytics are changing baseball: “What has happened is now instead of looking at that backward data, which we now understand is a fairly poor predictor of what’s going to happen in the future with most players, every single club has a model that predicts future performance by players based on what they’ve done in the past, what their age is, other metrics that have been collected about their performance…. The problem today is they’re not paying you based on that past performance. They're paying you based on what the analytics say you’re going to do for them going forward. And that's a huge adjustment for players.”
On how he approaches negotiations: “I think what happens in a negotiation probably 75% of the time is determined by the preparation that goes into it. I think people get confused on the topic of preparation. Some people think that means mapping out, you know, I’m going to propose this. I think he's going to propose that…. It’s not really that. It’s understanding the substance of what’s at issue. It’s thinking about what the interests of the other side are and how you can address those interests in a way that can get you to an agreement and deciding when you’re going to introduce the concept that you think addresses their interest in order to build a bridge to the agreement. So a lot of it is done on the fly, but that preparation in advance puts you in a position to make those decisions on the fly.”