SBD/August 8, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

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  • Rob Manfred Still The Leading Candidate To Succeed Bud Selig As MLB Commissioner

    MLB teams will vote next week to determine the successor to Commissioner Bud Selig when he retires next year, but the "most recent unofficial count" gives MLB COO Rob Manfred the support of 20, Red Sox Chair Tom Werner five and MLB Exec VP/Business Tim Brosnan none, according to sources cited by baseball writer Murray Chass. To be elected, a candidate must gain 23 votes.

    White Sox
    Blue Jays
    Red Sox

    Chass noted teams that are undecided are there because of White Sox Chair Jerry Reinsdorf's "strategy and his determination to block Manfred." Rays Owner Stu Sternberg was a "self-submitted candidate but didn’t make the final cut." However, Reinsdorf could "use him in the event the vote goes beyond the first ballot." Blue Jays President & CEO Paul Beeston "wasn’t a candidate, but Reinsdorf could make him one if it serves his purpose." The "same goes" for D-Backs President & CEO Derrick Hall (, 8/7).

    JERRY'S WORLD: In N.Y., Mike Lupica writes Reinsdorf has "attempted to hijack the process as a way of trying to stop" Manfred. Reinsdorf does "not do this in the best interests of baseball, he has no idea what those really are, just the best interests of Reinsdorf." Lupica: "Smart people who actually care about the future of baseball ... know that the game and its immediate future are best served by Manfred succeeding Selig the way Roger Goodell succeeded Paul Tagliabue and the way Adam Silver has now, seamlessly and forcefully, succeeded David Stern." Only Reinsdorf "doesn’t see it that way." Reinsdorf is "still fighting old insane labor wars" against former MLBPA Exec Dirs Marvin Miller and Donald Fehr. Werner will "never get to 23 votes no matter how many ballots there are" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 8/8).

    NO FUN LEAGUE? In Boston, Steve Buckley writes MLB sometimes is "sorely lacking in the fun department, which is why the game’s next commissioner needs to be somebody who puts 'fun' at the top of the to-do list." Too many games "are slow, plodding, tiresome affairs" and "nobody’s doing anything about it." Buckley: "The main reason I have not dismissed Tom Werner’s candidacy for commissioner -- and, in fact, have been intrigued by it -- is that the Red Sox chairman has a long and successful career in the 'fun' department." This is "not a plea for MLB’s owners to insert" Werner as commissioner, but is a "plea for those owners to think less about revenue streams and TV deals and more about the game itself" (BOSTON HERALD, 8/8).

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  • Is Dean Blandino's Party Night With Cowboys' Stephen Jones A Blow To NFL's Integrity?

    Execs from several NFL clubs "expressed extreme disappointment and anger at a TMZ video that appears to show" league VP/Officiating Dean Blandino "out for a night of partying" in L.A. with Cowboys COO & Exec VP Stephen Jones, according to Jason La Canfora of Blandino "appears to be among a group of males and females captured stepping off the Jones' Cowboys-themed party bus and toward a club where paparazzi awaited outside." Several "expressed concern at the appearance of potential competitive balance issues, given the sensitive nature of Blandino's role and his authority on matters of officiating and interpretation." Two spokespersons "declined to say anything for the record." But no one "came close to denying it was Blandino in the video, and the league could point out that with Jones on the competition committee, it's not unusual for him to spend considerable time with competition committee members." Blandino has "done an excellent job in his position, and is engaged and dynamic." At issue is the "perception of potential favoritism by other clubs, and the way these images are being perceived around the league" (, 8/7). The NATIONAL FOOTBALL POST's Joe Fortenbaugh asks, "Have the Dallas Cowboys been receiving preferential treatment from Blandino due to the nature of his apparently close relationship with Stephen Jones? Has Jones lavished Blandino with gifts in the hopes of buying some goodwill within the league office?" Perhaps we are "reading too deeply into a situation that is nothing more than two colleagues sharing a beer together." But the "fact of the matter is that questions are now being asked as to whether there is something going on here that isn’t exactly aboveboard." As a result, the NFL’s "corruption-free image has suffered a blow" (, 8/8).

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  • League Notes's T.J. Quinn cited sources as saying that MLB officials have "contacted the DEA and U.S. attorney's office in Southern Florida in an effort to unmask the names of any players who might have violated the league's drug policy." Federal officials are "discussing how to honor the request, which follows months of mutual frustration between MLB and the DEA over their parallel investigations into the Biogenesis clinic and related criminal activity." One source said that five players "have been identified during the investigation, although it is not clear whether all five are on major league rosters" (, 8/7).

    TWO FOR YOU: In San Diego, Tom Krasovic wrote two exhibition games "is all an NFL team needs to get ready for the season." We know this "because in the third exhibition of every preseason, most teams play their starters well into the third quarter." With two fewer exhibitions every August, "less would become more each summer and fall." The NFL's "shield" would have "more luster, too, for there's a dulling effect to sparsely populated stadiums and a watered-down product" (, 8/7). In Cincinnati, Paul Daugherty wrote NFL teams should let fans into preseason games "for free." Daugherty: "Think of the PR statement that would make" (, 8/7).

    EVENT PLANNING: In Michigan, Joe Warner noted "if support is strong" at the LPGA Turning Point Invitational at the Country Club of Detroit on Aug. 25, it could give the club in Grosse Pointe Farms an opportunity to "host an annual tour event." Corporate sponsorships of LPGA events in Grand Rapids this week and Grosse Pointe Farms at the end of the month "show the appreciation that Michigan has for the LPGA." Commissioner Mike Whan said, "We're looking for the right longterm partner. We have an option before the last major of the year ... that would work with an international airport. The window works very well if we can figure it out" (GROSSE POINTE NEWS, 8/7).

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