In Boston, Nick Cafardo wrote there "should have been a succession plan" for MLB Commissioner Bud Selig a year ago, when it was known he "would be ending his tenure." There is "no doubt that Selig would pick" MLB COO Rob Manfred to be the next commissioner. Owners "have fallen in line with Selig's recommendations and leadership, so it would seem out of character for them not to seriously consider Manfred when he would continue Selig's vision." One owner said, "Everyone is trying to keep an open mind, but the lead horse is Manfred. The owners I speak to feel comfortable with him to keep things going in the right direction. Bud's input is extremely important and we know that Rob would be Bud's first choice" (BOSTON GLOBE, 7/6).
WORK IN PROGRESS: ESPN.com's John Clayton noted the NFL "is working" on a developmental league. It "knows there are numbers of investors willing to put together developmental leagues for them." The NFL is "waiting for the right option, and I believe it will do something." Clayton: "I just don't know when." Too many "good, young players are falling through the cracks." When a team "loses a starting player to injury, the pool of potential replacements is poor." Owners "know that, but they don't want to create a loss-leader to solve the problem when they can have outside investors pay to be aligned with the NFL" (ESPN.com, 7/6).
LAUGHING ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK: SI.com's Jon Wertheim noted the prize money increases for this year's Wimbledon "are really dramatic." Reach the round of 16 in singles "and win $200,000?" That was the "size of a finalist's check not long ago -- and the winner's check at certain tour events now." This "further dilutes the importance of run-of-the-mill tour events and emphasizes the Slams' supremacy." Acting on "behalf of the players, the tours were the driving forces behind these increases." But you "can't help but fear this has come at the expense of the tournament constituents" (SI.com, 7/6).
NO SUCH THING AS BAD PRESS: In Rochester, Jeff Di Veronica wrote for U.S. Soccer and the NWSL to "improve the second-year league's visibility," its biggest stars need to "stand in front of the cameras and talk to the media, even when the spotlight is there for the wrong reasons." That is how the message gets out, "at least in part," that Reign G Hope Solo is on a squad that is "having the greatest season in women's professional soccer history." It "doesn't mean it'll end up on ESPN unless Solo does or says something silly or unprofessional, it just means it gives the NWSL a chance to gain some extra interest, so new fans know it exists" (ROCHESTER DEMOCRAT & CHRONICLE, 7/4).