SBD/18/Leagues Governing Bodies

SAY YOU'RE SURPRISED! SELIG SET TO BE NAMED MLB COMMISSIONER

          Bud Selig, who has served as MLB's acting commissioner
     for nearly six years, "has decided to accept the job" on a
     permanent basis, according to Murray Chass of the N.Y.
     TIMES.  Chass' piece was teased on the front page of the
     paper and featured above the fold in the Sports section. 
     Two sources, one a "high-ranking" MLB official and one who
     "is not in baseball but has close contacts with people in
     the sport's hierarchy," said that an official announcement
     "could be made by" the All-Star Game on July 7.  One owner
     said the announcement "could be coming in two to four
     weeks."  Chass writes that the naming of Selig as
     commissioner "should surprise no one," and that despite his
     statements of non-interest, "[o]verwhelming support from
     owners for him to take the job made it possible for him to
     agree to take it."  Several sources said that "only two or
     three" owners were opposed to Selig taking the post.  All of
     Chass' sources named White Sox Chair Jerry Reinsdorf as one
     who opposed the appointment.  Giants Owner Peter Magowan and
     the Cubs' Tribune Co. were also named as being opposed to
     the Selig appointment (N.Y. TIMES, 6/18).
          NOT EVERYONE'S BUD? Chass writes that "[o]ne problem"
     Selig might have is "public acceptance," since he was the
     "face that fans saw" throughout the '94-'95 strike. Another
     possible problem may be management's relations with the
     MLBPA, as the relationship between Selig and MLBPA Exec Dir
     Donald  Fehr "deteriorated badly" during the labor dispute,
     "reaching the point where Fehr didn't even want to talk to
     Selig."  Selig's acceptance of the post has prompted some in
     MLB to "question whether he was really sincere in his
     repeated insistence that he didn't want" it.  One senior
     club exec said he thought "the whole thing was orchestrated.
     [Selig] was telling a small group of people from day one he
     wanted it but told everyone else he didn't" (N.Y. TIMES,
     6/18).  Selig, asked about the report by Tom Haudricourt in
     WI said, "There's always been a great deal of speculation on
     this matter, but at this point in time I can assure you
     there is nothing definitive" (JOURNAL-SENTINEL, 6/18).

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