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SBD/January 16, 2014/Leagues and Governing BodiesPrint All
The search for MLB Commissioner Bud Selig's successor is "likely to intensify in the coming weeks and months," although multiple MLB team owners yesterday said that they "had no knowledge of a search committee being formed," according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSPORTS.com. Selig has "said publicly that it helps a commissioner to have run a franchise before taking the sport's highest job." But two "respected baseball executives with such experience -- Phillies president David Montgomery and former Cubs president Andy MacPhail -- both said emphatically Wednesday that they aren't candidates to be the next commissioner." MLB COO Rob Manfred is viewed "as a favorite for the job if MLB chooses someone within the commissioner's office." Selig, who will "have considerable influence in choosing the next commissioner, holds Manfred in extremely high regard" (FOXSPORTS.com, 1/16).
RETIREMENT PARTY: Selig said he is "100 percent" committed to retiring next year. He added that he "hopes to visit all 30 parks in his final season." ESPN.com's Jayson Stark noted Selig was "adamant that, despite previous instances in which he said he'd retire but stayed on, this time there is no turning back." Selig: "This is definitely it. I'm more comfortable today than I was when I (announced) it in October, if that's possible. Jan. 24, 2015, is it. And I'm very comfortable with that. I'm done." Selig said that he "would like to spend his last year as commissioner on a Mariano Rivera-type tour of all 30 major league parks, speaking not with baseball dignitaries but with fans and people who work in his sport behind the scenes." Selig said that the idea came about "in part because several clubs reached out to him after his announcement and asked to honor him, but also because Rivera's farewell tour got Selig to thinking about ways to connect with people who love baseball" (ESPN.com, 1/14). But ESPN's Bomani Jones said Selig should "just make a video and send it" to all the MLB teams, because ask NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell "about that training camp tour he did." Jones: "People will heckle you. You are the first commissioner that was entirely put in place to be a representative of the owners and serve the interest of the owners and you've done a fantastic job of that. Everyone else would just appreciate a, 'Thanks for the memories.' You don't need to go talk to them" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 1/14).
NBA Commissioner David Stern said that league franchises are "attracting more interest from investors outside the U.S. as their revenues stabilise and the value of media rights for basketball increases," according to Roger Blitz of the FINANCIAL TIMES. Stern said that he had been "approached last month by a Middle East investor wanting to buy any one of four NBA franchises." Each of the four unnamed franchises "rejected the approach." However, Stern said that the "takeover of some of the 30 NBA franchises by overseas investors was inevitable." Nets Owner Mikhail Prokhorov "became the first foreign owner of an NBA franchise" when he bought the team in '10 (FINANCIAL TIMES, 1/16). But Nets F Andrei Kirilenko said of a potential NBA franchise in London, "I don't think it's realistic only because of the travel. Maybe if it was its own division like Euroleague in the NBA. So if you go once a year to another continent and play three games there and just be home, maybe it’s going to work like that. But it's definitely not going to work for one game and coming back. It's just physically impossible" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/15).
THE LONG GOODBYE: Stern is departing as commissioner on Feb. 1 after 30 years, and ESPN's Avery Johnson called Stern's tenure "one of the most successful runs in sports history." Johnson: "What a great commissioner he's been for the NBA. ... The way he's grown the game globally, what he's also done for minority hiring. There's no need for a Rooney Rule like the NFL has for hiring minorities in the NBA. ... David Stern has done a great job and it's sad to see his run come to an end." ESPN's Doris Burke added, "Hard to argue that from where the league was when he started to where it is when he departs that there's been a better commissioner in sports." Burke added NBA Deputy Commissioner & COO Adam Silver "is more than ready for the job" ("NBA Countdown," ESPN, 1/15). Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban said that he would give Stern "'an 85 to 90' out of 100 when grading his three decades in charge." Cuban added that his "only bone of contention" with Stern "during his time in the league -- besides the state of officiating -- was the amount of money invested in China at Stern's behest in the continued pursuit of globalizing the NBA brand." But Cuban said, "On the business side, we've agreed far more than we've disagreed" (ESPN.com, 1/16).