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AS MLB RINGS IN NEW YEAR, WILL COMMISSIONER BE RESOLUTION?
Published January 5, 1998
With the "possibility that a protesting Bud Selig would accept a draft and agree to remain as full-time commissioner, the committee searching for a replacement is close to making a final recommendation," according to Ross Newhan of the L.A. TIMES. Rockies Chair Jerry McMorris, head of the search committee: "I'm hopeful we'll have this all resolved and behind us in the next 60 days." Sources told Newhan that "a group of small-market owners continue to lobby" on Selig's behalf, hoping to persuade him to remain. McMorris: "I understand there's a group working to draft Bud ... but he continues to tell me he's not a candidate." Newhan: "The impression is that Selig is being pulled in several directions. There are [MLB COO Paul] Beeston and a group of small-market owners urging him to move to New York as commissioner. There are his Brewer partners urging him to stay in Milwaukee. ... There's also the possibility of a fight if Selig accedes to a draft" (L.A. TIMES, 12/20). NEW NAME: In his Sunday column, Peter Gammons called President Clinton's Senior Policy Advisor Bruce Reid the "perfect candidate" for MLB's top spot: "Reid is brilliant, he is purposeful, he knows people." Gammons also suggested an MLB "governing body to accompany Reid" consisting of eight owners, MLBPA Exec Dir Don Fehr, two players elected annually, Beeston, one TV network exec, one elected GM and "if they really want vision, Sandy Alderson." Gammons also advised naming an MLB Attorney General to "dismantle the pitiable league office system" (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/4). ANOTHER CITY, NOT MY OWN: In Toronto, Richard Griffin wrote, "By the year 2002, the World Series will be played as part of a weeklong baseball festival at a neutral site. According to sources, major-league owners have already begun serious, if somewhat preliminary, discussions on this radical concept" (TORONTO STAR, 12/31). TAX DAY: Five teams will have to pay a luxury tax by January 31, as figures from the Players Relations Committee show which teams have to pay the tax assessed at a rate of 35% on any payroll amount over $55.587M. The Yankees will have to pay the most, $4.438M on a $68.267M payroll, followed by the Orioles at $4.033M ($67.111M), the Indians at $2.072M ($61.508M), the Braves at $1.306M ($59.096M) and the Marlins at $153,046 ($56.024M). The total tax on the five teams was $12.004M. The first $10M of the luxury tax goes to "fund the shortfall in revenue sharing." The remaining money will be divided among the five AL clubs with the lowest net local revenue in '96 (N.Y. TIMES, 12/25).