SBJ/June 15 - 21, 1998/No Topic Name

Selig looking like the people's choice

Bud Selig, who as chairman of Major League Baseball's Executive Council has been acting as commissioner in the absence of one, remained the leading candidate to fill the role full time as owners emerged from their quarterly meetings in Seattle last week — though the question of how Selig would fill the dual role of commissioner and Milwaukee Brewers owner remained a potential obstacle to his appointment.

Colorado Rockies owner Jerry McMorris, who is leading the search for candidates from outside the ownership ranks, said he had concluded his research and would present findings to the Executive Council later this month.

"I think we have outstanding candidates," McMorris said. "I've recognized all along that a certain group of owners felt very strong about wanting to keep Bud in place. And that feeling seems to be growing."

Selig wouldn't discuss the issue, other than to say he'd let what McMorris said "stand on its own."

McMorris said he wasn't prepared to give his full report to the Executive Council yet, but it clearly was a topic of discussion in the meetings.

Much of the discussion focuses on to what extent Selig will be able to maintain ties to his beloved Brewers if he is drafted as commissioner.

The recent appointment of Paul Beeston as chief operating officer of MLB will allow the owners to restructure the commissioner's job so it entails less contact with daily operations. That would enable Selig to handle the ceremonial and judicial sides of the job from Milwaukee.

But that alone doesn't resolve the conflicts that would arise from having an interested party — the owner of a franchise — sitting as commissioner.

"I think Bud's done a real good job, but you have issues when you have an owner be commissioner," McMorris said. "You have an issue of what happens with the Milwaukee Brewers team. There's more that needs to unfold on that front."

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Colorado Rockies, MLB

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