The individual heading a committee tasked with picking a replacement for commissioner Bud Selig said Thursday that Major League Baseball wants "a strong CEO, a visionary leader who has a passion for the game."
Selig is retiring January 24 after being in charge since 1992. While it is likely that officials have been working behind the scenes for a while trying to determine his successor, the time has come for the bureaucracy to get a move on.
St. Louis Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt will lead a seven-member committee of owners tasked to identify the leading candidate (or candidates, writes Ron Blum of the Associated Press) for Selig's replacement. DeWitt's committee will report to MLB's executive council, which is to make a recommendation to all 30 owners, 24 of whom (75 percent) need to agree on a new commissioner. Of course, Selig — known as a consensus-builder who likes unanimity — will have a big say.
''We will look to get input from all the clubs. It won't just be a seven-man committee doing everything and informing them at the end,'' said DeWitt, who will be the committee chairman. ''We're obviously looking for a strong CEO, a visionary leader who has a passion for the game.''
Yahoo Sports baseball columnist Jeff Passan took a look at the likely candidates in September, when Selig formally announced he was retiring. Rob Manfred, MLB's chief operating officer who has been visible during the Biogenesis scandal, has been and still is a leading candidate. Unless the owners decide they want someone "sexier."
Owners on the committee include:
Dick Monfort of the Colorado Rockies; David Montgomery of the Philadelphia Phillies; Arte Moreno of the Los Angeles Angels; Bob Nutting of the Pittsburgh Pirates; Jim Pohlad of the Minnesota Twins; and Jerry Reinsdorf of the Chicago White Sox. Note in the mixture the presence of two small-market teams, including the Twins, whom Selig and the other owners nearly contracted years ago.
Those were darker times, after the big strike of '94 but before record revenues and unprecedented labor peace of recent years. That, along with the transformation of the All-Star game and the recent overhaul in performance-enhancing drug policies, mark Selig's legacy.
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