September 20, 2016

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Commissioner Rob Manfred is confident Major League Baseball teams fully disclose medical records, but said his office has demonstrated that it will use discipline as a way to discourage rules violations.

Manfred's comments during an appearance in Texas on Tuesday came less than a week after MLB suspended Padres general manager A.J. Preller for 30 days without pay for his actions in the Drew Pomeranz trade to Boston.

The punishment given to the San Diego executive for failing to disclose medical information was unprecedented in baseball.

''I think the penalty speaks for itself,'' Manfred said, without getting into specifics about his reasoning for that penalty.

The commissioner said teams are sent annual guidelines in how medical records are to be maintained.

''I think that our clubs in general fully disclose medical records consistent with a long-standing practice in baseball,'' he said. ''I'm confident that our clubs adhere to those guidelines.''

Manfred appeared at an athletic forum for SMU before joining Rangers and city of Arlington officials for an update on the plans for a new entertainment complex and a new stadium for the team.

Among some other topics:

- Asked about San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's national anthem protest, Manfred said Kaepernick has the a right to express his view.

''Look, I respect, and baseball has always respected, people's rights to express their views,'' Manfred said.

- While not wanting to get into getting into any specific issues that will be negotiated, Manfred said he is ''optimistic about our ability to get a new collective bargaining agreement.'' The current contract between owners and players will expire Dec. 2.

''There's been a lot of work done already. I think the pace of that work is going to pick up as we get closer to the end of the season,'' he said. ''I think that people on both sides of the table understand that the game's doing well, and what should be most important to both sides is making sure we keep the game on the field for our fans.''

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