New MLB commissioner Rob Manfred chatted with former President George W. Bush at the Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas last night and addressed a number of topics regarding the state of baseball.
Bush hosted Manfred in advance of a new exhibit at the presidential library. “Baseball: America’s Presidents, America’s Pastime” opens to the public today and will examine baseball’s relationship with America’s presidents.
Bush, who once owned the Texas Rangers, asked Manfred about instant replay, pace of play, the chances of expansion in Mexico City, and whether he would vote someone who used steroids into the Hall of Fame. Interestingly, Manfred said the only autographed baseball he owns is from Bush, who signed it after he threw out the first pitch before Game 3 of the 2001 World Series.
My favorite exchange might have been this below, via Richard Justice of MLB.com:
Bush asked if Manfred had always been a baseball fan.
“I grew up a Yankee fan,” Manfred said.
When the crowd booed, Bush said, “Good, Rob. Welcome to Texas anyway.”
The conversation was about 45 minutes, but here’s a quick clip below. You can see more at MLB.com:
[mlbvideo id=”50719183″ width=”400″ height=”224″ /]