This is also the final season of Bud Selig as the Commissioner of Baseball. Selig served as the Executive Council Chairman from 1992 to 1998, acting as the commissioner, and then was appointed as the official commissioner in 1998. On August 14, 2014, Rob Manfred was selected by voting unanimously to become the new Commissioner of Baseball starting next year.
No significant changes were made to the 2014 schedule. As was the case in 2013, teams will play 19 games against each division opponent for a total of 76 games, and six or seven games against each team from the other two divisions in its league for a total of 66 games. All teams will play 20 interleague games, with the majority of match-ups following the divisional rotation that has been in place since 2004. For 2014, the matchups will be AL East vs. NL Central, AL Central vs. NL West, and AL West vs. NL East. Teams will play four games against a designated "rival" in two back-to-back two-game series, one home and one away. Unlike 2013, where all of these series were played during the same week, these rivalry series will be spread from early May through mid-August. The table below shows the interleague rivals for the 2014 season.
On August 15, 2013, Major League Baseball announced that it will expand its video review process for the 2014 season, and MLB clubs unanimously approved the new rules on January 16, 2014. Managers are now able to challenge certain plays no more than twice per game, including force plays, fair or foul balls, and batters hit by a pitch, among others. If a manager exhausts his ability to challenge plays during the game and after the beginning of the seventh inning, the Crew Chief may choose to invoke instant replay on any reviewable call. Calls that are challenged will be reviewed by a crew in MLB headquarters in New York City, which will make the final ruling.
Washington resigned on September 5 for personal reasons after eight seasons with the Rangers. He finished with a 664–611 record and is the franchise's all-time leader in regular season wins and games managed. Washington led the Rangers to four straight 90-win seasons, three playoff appearances, and back-to-back American League championships during his tenure. Bogar, who is the current bench coach, was named the interim manager for the rest of the 2014 season.
At the end of the 2013 season, the following teams made replacements to their managers.
Wedge declined to return on September 27, 2013 as he missed part of the season with a partial stroke. He finished with a 213–273 record in three seasons. McClendon was announced as the new manager on November 5, 2013. McClendon previously managed the Pittsburgh Pirates from 2001 to 2005 and compiled a 336–446 record.
Johnson announced on November 12, 2012 that the 2013 season would be his last. He finished with a record of 224–183 in his three seasons. Matt Williams was announced on October 31, 2013 as the new manager.
Leyland resigned on October 21, 2013 and then retired the next day with a record of 700–597 (.540) with three division titles (2011–13), one AL wild card (2006) and two AL pennants (2006 and 2012). Ausmus was announced as the next manager on November 3, 2013.
His home run in the seventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays on April 3 gives him 163 for his Rays' career. This ties the team record held by Carlos Peña. Longoria set the franchise record with his 164th home run on April 19 against the New York Yankees.
Set the rookie record for RBI in April by raising his total to 31 on April 27 against the Tampa Bay Rays. He broke the record of 27 set by Albert Pujols. Abreu finished April with 32 runs batted in.
With a double in the first inning on May 7 against the Texas Rangers, Arenado extended his hit streak to 27 games which tied the team record set by Michael Cuddyer in 2013. Arenado set the team record with a single in the third inning the next night against the Rangers. Arenado's streak came to an end the very next night as the Cincinnati Reds held him hitless.
With his multi-homer game on May 29 against the Kansas City Royals, Encarnacion tied a Major League record with his fifth multi-homer game this month. That ties the record that was set by Harmon Killebrew in May 1959 and Albert Belle in September 1995.
With his home run on May 29 against the Baltimore Orioles, Springer has hit seven home runs in his last seven games. He became the second rookie in Major League history to hit seven home runs over a seven-game span in one season. Rudy York accomplished this in August 1937.
Tied Lou Gehrig for most doubles in franchise history with his 534th career double in the fourth inning on July 1 against the Tampa Bay Rays. Jeter set the team record on July 22 against the Texas Rangers with a double in the ninth inning.
Set a Major League record for most starts at shortstop when he started at short against the Cincinnati Reds on July 18. This was Jeter's 2,610th career start which broke the record that was held by Omar Vizquel.
With his double in the second inning on September 1 against the Milwaukee Brewers, Soler became the third player in the last one hundred years to record at least one extra-base hit in each of his first five games in the majors. Soler joins Enos Slaughter (1938) and Will Middlebrooks (2012).
Pitched the first no-hitter of his career on May 25 against the Philadelphia Phillies. In 128 pitches, he struck out six batters, and walked three. It was the 24th in Dodgers' team history and the 11th since moving to Los Angeles.
Pitched the first no-hitter of his career on June 18 against the Colorado Rockies. In 107 pitches, he struck out 15 batters, and walked none. He lost his perfect game when Hanley Ramírez committed a throwing error in the seventh inning. It was the 25th in Dodgers' team history and the 12th since moving to Los Angeles.
Pitched his second no-hitter of his career on June 25 against the San Diego Padres. In 113 pitches, he struck out six batters, and walked one. It was the 16th in Giants' team history and the 8th since moving to San Francisco. Lincecum joins Christy Mathewson as only the second Giant pitcher to throw two no-hitters in his career. He also becomes the fourth pitcher in Major League history to pitch multiple no-hitters and win multiple Cy Young Awards joining Sandy Koufax, Randy Johnson and Roy Halladay.
Hamels went six innings on September 1 against the Atlanta Braves throwing 108 pitches. Diekman threw 15 pitches in the seventh and Giles also threw 15 in the eighth. Papelbon came on in the ninth and retired the side on nine pitches. This no-hitter was the 12th in team history and the first since Roy Halladay's no-hitter in the 2010 playoffs. The pitchers combined to strike out 12 batters and Hamels walked five batters. This was also the 11th combined no-hitter in Major League history.
Set the franchise record for most strike outs for any pitcher in their first two starts as a Yankee. Tanaka 18 strike outs broke the record of 17 that was held by Charles Hudson (April 1987), Dennis Rasmussen (May 1984) and Bob Turley (April 1955).
Became the first pitcher in the modern era (since 1900) to record at least eight wins and 80 strikeouts (has 88) in his first 11 career starts in the majors. He reached this milestone on May 31 against the Minnesota Twins.
Has not allowed more than two runs in any of his last 20 starts, the longest streak in Major League history (since 1876). The previous record holder belonged to Ferdie Schupp, who allowed fewer than three runs in 16 consecutive games started for the Giants in 1916 and 1917. His streak ended after 21 starts when the New York Mets scored three runs on May 22.
Became the first pitcher in Major League history (since 1876) to go winless in his first eight starts of a season despite not allowing more than three runs in any outing. That ended on his ninth start when he allowed four runs to the Milwaukee Brewers on May 16 in the first two innings.
By closing out the game against the St. Louis Cardinals on May 18, Kimbrel recorded his 150th career save in his 248th career appearance. This is the fewest appearances needed to reach this milestone.
With Brad Boxberger striking out Yankees' Ichiro Suzuki in the 12th inning on June 30, the Rays set the Major League record for most strike outs by a pitching staff in any month. The Rays' pitching staff struck out 287 batters in June, breaking the record set by the Chicago Cubs in August 2002.
With his strikeout of Jordy Mercer of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the ninth inning on July 11, Chapman set the Major League record with at least one strikeout in 40 consecutive relief appearances. The streak dates back to last season. The previous record was held by Bruce Sutter who set the record in 1977. His streak came to an end at 49 games on August 15 against the Colorado Rockies as he failed to record a strikeout.
Became the first pitcher in Major League history to face 28 or fewer batters in back-to-back starts of at least nine innings with his complete game against the Seattle Mariners on July 30. He also faced one batter over the minimum on July 24 against the Kansas City Royals.
Set the Major League record for most consecutive batters retired by striking out Charlie Culberson of the Colorado Rockies on August 28. Petit retired 46 batters in a row breaking the record held by Mark Buehrle (45 consecutive) set in 2009. Petit set this record over seven appearances.
The Oakland Athletics will have a new green alternate jersey to start the 2014 season. Gone is the script "Athletics" across the chest, in its place is the white "A's" cap logo on the left side of the chest with gold piping, basically a reverse of the current gold jersey. It was announced last season, and unveiled on February 8, 2014 during the A's FanFest at Oracle Arena.
The Pittsburgh Pirates announced that they are changing their primary logo from the pirate to the gold "P" that is on their caps.
In addition to ten Cubs throwbacks to mark the 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field, selected teams will wear throwbacks throughout the season:
The Braves wore 1974 throwbacks on April 8, the 40th anniversary of Hank Aaron's 715th home run.
The Diamondbacks wore the uniform of the Kansas City Packers of the Federal League against the Cubs on April 23, the 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field. The Diamondbacks' logo was on each player's left sleeve. The Cubs, as one of ten throwbacks they will wear during the season, wore the uniforms of the Chicago Whales.
The Tigers and Rangers wore Negro Leagues throwbacks on May 24. The Tigers wore uniforms of the Detroit Stars, while the Rangers wore the uniforms of the Fort Worth Black Panthers.
The Padres wore 1984 throwbacks on consecutive days May 23 and 24. They wore their home throwbacks on May 23, and their away uniforms May 24.
Both the Astros and Orioles wore Negro League throwbacks at the Civil Rights Game on May 30. The Astros wore the uniforms of the Houston Eagles, while the Orioles wore a Negro League throwback for the second time in 13 days, donning the uniforms of the Baltimore Elite Giants.
The Mariners and Astros wore 1979 uniforms on May 24.
The Twins and Brewers wore 1984 uniforms on June 3 and 5 as part of a home-and-home series.
The Phillies wore 1964 throwbacks on June 13 and 15. The Cubs, their opponents, wore 1964 throwbacks on June 13, but not June 15.
The New York Mets will wear special camouflage jerseys for five games to honor U.S. military personnel.
On May 3, the Astros wore Spanish-language Los Astros uniforms.
All teams wore camouflage caps and jerseys on May 26, Memorial Day in the United States. The Pirates and Cubs wore the uniforms again on June 10. The Rockies wore the uniforms again on July 6, and the Yankees wore them again on July 20.
The Reds wore all-camouflage caps and jerseys on June 11, June 22 and July 5. The uniforms had the "Reds" script wordmark on them, instead of the player's number and the Reds' logo. The American flag was on the player's left sleeve. The Reds' wishbone C was on the players' right sleeve instead of their mascot, Mr. Redlegs.
The Blue Jays wore a red uniform on July 1, Canada Day. They wore a red uniform again on August 10.
The Nationals wore an all-blue uniform on July 4. The "W" logo was red, white and blue.
Twenty-nine teams wore patriotic caps on July 4. AL teams wore red caps, and NL teams wore blue caps. Each cap had their teams' respective logo and a piece of the American flag, which was surrounded by a star. The Blue Jays wore a red cap with a maple leaf.
The Mets wore Spanish-language "Los Mets" uniforms July 29.
The Twins wore their red batting practice uniforms August 1. The jerseys did not have their last name on the backs.
The Tigers wore Spanish-language "Tigres" uniforms August 2. The jerseys were based on the 1960 Tigers home uniforms, which had the Tigers name in script and the player's number on it.
The Brewers wore Spanish-language "Cerveceros" uniforms August 10.
The Reds wore Irish Heritage night uniforms September 5. The uniforms' numbers and letters were green. The uniforms had the "Reds" script wordmark on them, instead of the player's number and the Reds' logo. A shamrock was on the unfiorm sleeves.
The Reds wore Spanish-language "Los Rojos" uniforms September 7.
Contract provisions in ESPN's contract will virtually eliminate local blackouts among the network's Monday and Wednesday night games, allowing ESPN coverage to co-exist with that of the local broadcasters in home markets. Sunday Night Baseball blackout rules will still apply.
Fox Sports' contract also covers Fox Sports 1, which began its first year of Major League Baseball coverage. Fox Sports 1 will televise 40 regular-season games (mostly on Saturdays) and possibly up to 15 playoff games. The increase in televised games from previous years is due to a provision in the contract that allows for Fox Sports 1 to take a game between two teams in which Fox operates the teams' individual RSNs and elevate it into a national broadcast. As a result, MLB regular season coverage on the Fox network will be reduced to 12 weeks beginning in 2014.
This is the first year of eight-year contracts for national broadcasts in Canada. Sportsnet, owned by Rogers Communications (and sister company of the Toronto Blue Jays), continues to be the primary rightsholder, retaining rights to the All-Star Game, the Home Run Derby, and all postseason games. In total (including Canada-wide rights to all Blue Jays games which are acquired directly from the team), Sportsnet's various channels will carry almost 300 MLB games per season until 2021. As part of the deal, Rogers Cable became the Canadian launch partner for MLB Network, which was not previously available in Canada.
French-language rights, previously held exclusively by TSN's French-language sister channels RDS and RDS2, will now be split with TVA Sports, with each group airing approximately 70 games per season (TVA Sports also carries additional Blue Jays games acquired directly from the team). RDS will continue to carry the All-Star Game and the World Series, but the remaining postseason rights will be split equally between RDS and TVA Sports.
The New York Yankees left WCBS, which was their radio home for 12 years, but the rights remained with CBS Radio's New York cluster, as they moved to WCBS's sister station WFAN with a new rights agreement, which allows an FM simulcast with WFAN-FM, which would mark the first time the Yankees are heard on FM radio in their hometown. The move to WFAN means that the New York Mets moved to WOR (purchased by Clear Channel in late 2012) for the 2014 season, as they had been on WFAN since the station had adopted the all-sports format in 1987.
This will be the final year in which the Chicago Cubs will air on WGN. WGN has had some form of broadcast relationship with the Cubs since 1925 and has been the exclusive broadcaster of the team since 1958; for many years, the Cubs and WGN were both owned by Tribune Company. The spin-off of the Cubs to new ownership, combined with continued financial losses, the Cubs' persistent on-field futility and the pending end of the rival Chicago White Sox's contract with WSCR after the 2015 season, prompted Tribune to end its relationship with the Cubs. Cubs broadcasts will move to CBS Radio's WBBM for 2015 and, if the White Sox do not renew with WSCR, to WSCR for 2016 and beyond.