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SBD/3/Leagues Governing Bodies
WHEN IS A COMMISSIONER NOT COMMISSIONER? WHEN JUDGE SAYS SO
Published March 3, 1997
Federal Judge Lewis Kaplan of Federal District Court in Manhattan ruled Friday that Bud Selig is not the commissioner of MLB, according to Murray Chass of the N.Y. TIMES. Kaplan gave his decision in a lawsuit brought against Selig by minor-league club owner Marvin Goldklang over financial compensation for giving up territorial rights to the Marlins. Selig had stated in depositions that he "was only the chairman of the executive council, which served as commissioner in the absence of a commissioner and made all decisions." Kaplan wrote: "Based on the evidence before the court, it is apparent that Selig is neither the de jure nor the de facto Commissioner of Baseball." Kaplan ruled that a de jure commissioner would be legally elected or appointed and Selig "was neither." Kaplan: "There is a vacancy in the Commissioner's office" (N.Y. TIMES, 3/1). ROBINSON REAX: In S.F., Tim Keown on MLB's season-long honoring of Jackie Robinson: "It seems this anniversary should be treated as the equivalent of the day you stopped beating your wife. Something to acknowledge, but not to trumpet. ... The honor in this issue is all Robinson's, not baseball's" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 3/1).