Last week, it was announced that Major League Baseball had formed a committee to appoint the league’s next commissioner at the end of Bud Selig’s tenure, which will come to an end next January. Michael S. Schmidt of the New York Times has more on the search, noting that several owners have indicated to him their belief that Selig is strongly in favor of COO Rob Manfred taking the reins when his own time is through.
Selig’s desire for Manfred to succeed him isn’t necessarily a new revelation, but Schmidt goes on to write that Selig’s push for Manfred as his heir is meeting some resistance from an unexpected source — White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf. Schmidt spoke with more than 20 owners, senior team officials and MLB officials for his piece and came away with the knowledge that Reinsdorf — a long-time supporter of Selig — “has broken ranks and tried to upend the plan to slide Mr. Manfred into the commissioner’s office on Park Avenue.”
Reinsdorf was the only source to not require anonymity when speaking with Schmidt, telling him: “What I have said about [Manfred] is none of your business.” Reinsdorf added that he’s never said a bad word about Selig himself, whom he called the game’s “best commissioner.”
Schmidt continues by writing that Selig initially called a meeting with a select group of owners — Reinsdorf included — this past February, informing them that they would play a role in choosing his successor. As word of this attempt made its way through the game’s front offices, several owners became irritated. Eventually, Selig instead made the announcement of a smaller search committee last week.
Current candidates, in addition to Manfred, include Disney chief executive Bob Iger, Giants president Larry Baer, Braves chairman Terry McGuirk and Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski, according to Schmidt. Tim Brosnan and Rob Bowman — currently senior business executives in the Commissioner’s Office — are seen as long shots.