In just over a week, Major League Baseball owners will vote on the league's next commissioner, a man who would replace Bud Selig after he retires in February. Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports the replacement will be one of these candidates:
• Rob Manfred, MLB's chief operating officer since 2013 and, for 15 years before that, the executive vice president of labor relations. He's been considered the favorite since Selig announced he would be stepping down after 22 years of being in charge. Manfred's biggest task lately has been enforcement of the new rules prohibiting certain performance-enhancing drugs.
• Tim Brosnan, MLB's executive vice president of business since 2000. He has directed the exponential growth of baseball's economy. Selig has said that MLB revenues could top $9 billion in 2014. They amounted to $3.4 billion in 2000.
• Tom Werner, chairman of the Boston Red Sox since 2002. He's part of an ownership group including John Henry and Larry Lucchino. Werner has the same title for the Liverpool Football Club in England. Werner, 64, also has been a television producer of significant renown. The titles include: "The Cosby Show," "Roseanne," "That '70s Show," and "3rd Rock From The Sun."
Bill DeWitt Jr., owner of the St. Louis Cardinals, has been leading the search for the next Selig, who is reputed by many to be the best commissioner in the sport's history. If "best" is defined by profits and labor peace — at least after the 1994-95 players strike that killed the World Series — it's hard to argue.
Selig, who turned 80 in July, reportedly earned in excess of $22 million in his final two years on the job. He announced in 2012 that this season would be his last, though Selig has made similar statements in the past. The new commissioner needs approval from 23 owners of the 30 teams when the vote happens Aug. 14.
DeWitt has given this hint about what kind of commissioner the owners want:
''We're obviously looking for a strong CEO, a visionary leader who has a passion for the game.''
That would make Manfred, or perhaps Brosnan, the most logical successor. Werner probably should be considered the long shot — though he is "one of their own," like Selig was when he took over. Werner recently was asked about the commissioner's job in the Boston Globe:
“Me as commissioner? No, I’m very happy as chairman of the Boston Red Sox," Werner said. "It’s been a fantastic ride."
More MLB coverage at Yahoo Sports:
- - - - - - -