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MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred Open To Eliminating Defensive Shifts

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- On Sunday, Rob Manfred assumed office as the 10th Commissioner of Baseball.

He took over for the legendary Bud Selig, who served as commissioner from 1998-2015.

Major League Baseball is relatively healthy, though Manfred has his work cut out for him. In an effort to keep younger fans interested, the league has been working to speed up the game. Pitch clocks will be used at the Double-A and Triple-A levels this year, and they could eventually make their way up to the majors.

"I would be aggressive about using the clock over the long haul," Manfred said on ESPN on Sunday. "I think it's a helpful thing in terms of moving the game along."

MLB has also seen offensive numbers decrease in recent years. It's unknown whether that's a product of particularly dominant pitching or a crackdown on performance-enhancing drugs, but Manfred would like to see more runs scored.

"The second set of changes that I would look at is related, and that relates to injecting additional offense in the game," Manfred told ESPN. "For example, things like eliminating shifts. I would be open to those sorts of ideas ... We have really smart people working in the game, and they're gonna figure out ways to get a competitive advantage.

"I think it's incumbent upon us in the commissioner's office to look at the advantages that are produced and say, 'Is this what we want to happen in the game?'"

Major League Baseball averaged 4.07 runs per game in 2014, the lowest average since 1981 (4.00).

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