SBD/January 16, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

MLB Ramps Up Search For Next Commissioner, Though No Committee Believed To Be In Place

Manfred (l) is viewed in some circles as the favorite to replace Selig
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).
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