Poll: Was Manfred The Right Choice?

Major League Baseball owners yesterday elected MLB COO Rob Manfred as the successor to Bud Selig and next commissioner of baseball. While Manfred’s vote technically passed unanimously, there was a pronounced split for much of the day. Reportedly, 22 of the 30 teams were in favor of Manfred for much of the day, but it took quite some time for a 23rd team — said by Jon Heyman of CBS Sports to be the Nationals — to give Manfred the final vote he required. At that point, the remaining seven teams altered their vote as “an olive branch for posterity” (to use the words of the L.A. Times’ Bill Shaikin), knowing that their preferred candidate had no chance to win anyhow.

That preferred candidate was Red Sox chairman Tom Werner, although Werner wasn’t the only other finalist to give a presentation to owners yesterday. Joining Werner and Manfred was MLB executive vice president of business Tim Brosnan, though he appeared to be the first of the three to withdraw from consideration.

All three had their merits. Manfred has resided over labor negotiations and can boast 19 years of peace between MLB and the MLBPA, and he also has worked tirelessly to implement the current drug testing system in addition to spearheading last year’s Biogenesis investigation. Werner, whose background was in television before jumping to the baseball world, was believed by his supporters to possess the necessary knowledge to bolster MLB’s television ratings and revitalize interest in baseball among the youth of the United States and Canada. Brosnan’s business acumen was his strongest selling point, though he looked to be a distant third place behind his competitors not long after the announcement of the three finalists. (Of course, all three had their flaws as well, and MLBTR readers can get a brief rundown of each candidate in this piece from USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.)

Prior to the announcement of the three finalists, other candidates for the position had included Giants president Larry Baer, Disney chief executive Bob Iger, Braves chairman Terry McGuirk, Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski, MLB Advanced Media CEO Bob Bowman and former Yale University president Richard C. Levin.

Manfred has long been rumored to be the preferred successor of retiring commissioner Bud Selig, and in the end, the seemingly likeliest option wound up getting the nod. Manfred will become just the 10th commissioner of the league and presumably will hold this post for a considerable amount of time. Should baseball fans be happy about the outcome of the election? Let’s find out how¬†the MLBTR universe feels…

33 Responses to Poll: Was Manfred The Right Choice? Leave a Reply

  1. start_wearing_purple
    start_wearing_purple 12 months ago

    Honestly I can’t really say I can have respect for any commissioner.
    -Landis did restore order to baseball but also enforced segregation with an iron fist.
    -Chandler may have approved Robinson’s contract but did threaten lifetime bans for even talking about labor strikes.
    -Frick was alright, unless you believe Branch Rickey who said Frick wrote a racist report about how integration would hurt the game.
    -Kuhn, well the fact that he’s in the Hall and Marvin Miller isn’t says a lot. Kuhn’s blackballing of Curt Flood is a black eye in the game’s history. Kuhn also was the first comish to actively ignore PEDs.

    -Selig may be credited with a long labor peace and cleaning up PEDs. But he was part of the reason for the 1994 strike and had actively ignored PEDs until it became a problem.

    And those are considered the good commissioners. Either way, from the articles I’m reading it seems like the owners just want a commissioner who is prepared to take on the players union and risk breaking the long peace.

  2. Douglas Rau 12 months ago

    Were is the “Can’t be any worse than Selig” option? The man let PED run rampant in the game. How many Biogenesis scandals under his watch? The man is a disgrace and should have been removed from his position.

  3. SportsNut76 12 months ago

    I personally am in the wait and see category.

  4. Orebaugh 12 months ago

    Continuity is good, I suppose, but does that mean we get the same old same old for all of Manfred’s term? What does he have that Cadillac Bud didn’t?

    • Melvin Mendoza, Jr. 12 months ago

      Continuity of a Bud Selig administration is never good.

      • SportsNut76 12 months ago

        Because the longest term of labor peace in baseball history is a bad thing?

        • start_wearing_purple
          start_wearing_purple 12 months ago

          Selig keeps getting credit for the labor peace but he was a major reason for the 1994 players strike.

        • Lefty_Orioles_Fan
          Lefty_Orioles_Fan 12 months ago

          But I think the owners are overpaying and in turn the fans are overpaying. Guaranteed contracts in my opinion are awful and a real scourge to the game.

          • Mike1L 12 months ago

            Do you actually think the owners would cut you in if they got a hard salary cap, elimination of guaranteed contracts, and a reduction in payroll?

          • Richard Patel 12 months ago

            I agree with Mike1L: As I see it, salary caps only exist if revenue sharing with the players goes way up, and that means ticket prices aren’t going to go down. If anything, a new competitive balance may bring more fans back to TV, and that could mean more revenue from television.

          • start_wearing_purple
            start_wearing_purple 12 months ago

            Even if the players decided to play for free, the price of tickets will rise every year.

  5. JamieMoyer 12 months ago

    I was surprised how little support my campaign received!

    • Melvin Mendoza, Jr. 12 months ago

      Sorry Jamie, but we would like to inject some youth into the position coming from Selig.

  6. Lefty_Orioles_Fan
    Lefty_Orioles_Fan 12 months ago

    Was Manfred The Right Choice?
    You don’t know until he does something.
    However, I don’t see him as a fire and brimstone kind of leader. At least from his press conference. I would have liked to have heard some of his ideas and he clearly didn’t do that.

  7. ArlenianPropaneMachine 12 months ago

    Hard to say before he’s even set foot into office; however, he IS replacing Bud Selig so the bar isn’t exactly high.

  8. Mike1L 12 months ago

    Realistically, he’s not likely to be a substantial change. In some respects, that’s a good thing, because baseball is a game of tradition. But it’s also a highly lucrative cash cow which has innovated on the business side to find new streams of revenue, but innovate on the game and community side with things that are cosmetic, like inter league play or the All Star Game. MLB needs to create new fans, not just new sources of money. I don’t see Manfred focused on that–he’s a business guy hired to make more for the owners. Nothing suggests that he will either be sensitive to encouraging more kids to participate at lower levels nor to increase fan participation. That’s a mistake. And some of the owners aligned against him were looking primarily for a guy who would take on the Union to get a salary cap. That’s just arguing over the pie, not making the pie better. I’m disappointed, although not surprised.

  9. Karkat 12 months ago

    Bob Iger would’ve rocked this job

  10. Richard Patel 12 months ago

    On Chicago sports talk, there was a great comment regarding Bud Selig (and his assumed continuation of policy through his successor): He’s not as bad as you think.

    One point argued was steroids. Selig likely had his hands tied, and gained nothing by making public accusations without the evidence. He worked to get testing, and one that arrived, the shoe started falling.

    World Series home field through the ASG. Yes, this idea is not good, but compared to the previous method of alternating years, it is hardly the worst thing in the world. IT would be better to make it based on team record, but I’m not prepared to declare Selig a failure based on that.

    The labor peace was a nice change. He deserves a degree of credit for that.

    As for Manfred .. I’ll wait and see. Hopefully he learned from some of Selig’s mistakes. Personally, I suspect that in the near future, a salary cap and increased revenue sharing is going to need to be on the table to bring back casual fans. In the other leagues, salary caps have led to competitive balance, and that maintains fan involvement. Without that competitive balance, I worry for the future of the game. If the owners get a salary cap, revenue sharing is going to have to bump up.

    • start_wearing_purple
      start_wearing_purple 12 months ago

      When Selig was owner of the Brewers he was caught in a collusion scandal that became a major basis of the 1994 strike. Basically he stole from the players as an owner and when he was acting commissioner he tried to justify what he did and expected players to trust him.

      As for the long labor peace, the reason that’s been kept in effect is because of the fear that the fallout of a strike will be worse next time.

      • Richard Patel 11 months ago

        All of the owners were involved in collusion back in the 1980s, and Selig is no exception. But, that was before he was Commissioner. I was simply commenting on his time in that office. His motivation may have been more out of fear … but that doesn’t change the fact that he has somehow negotiate peace with one of the toughest unions left in America.

        • start_wearing_purple
          start_wearing_purple 11 months ago

          My point is Selig reacts to problems that he helped create. He’s been hailed as the peacemaker of the 1994 strike which he was a major reason why it existed. He then was given credit for cleaning up baseball of it’s steroid problem which he turned a blind eye to after the 1994 strike.

          Selig’s heroics in baseball have been only possible through his own personal incompetence.

  11. EndlessMikeJr 12 months ago

    Bud Selig look away from PEDS and did things to make owners happy is why the labor peace stood.This sport needs to make this game appealing to younger fans and more nationally appealing.
    We don’t needs another snake like person who is a puppet for the owners.We needs innovation as there’s no PED’s to save Bud Selig and his minion.

    • Red_Line_9 12 months ago

      The Commissioner’s position should very much be an objective interest that looks out for the “best interest of the game”. He should be looking to it’s integrity with a view toward posterity…THE custodian of the game.

  12. Mike1L 12 months ago

    I think MLB doesn’t quite see it this way, but ever-increasing revenues, media fees, and franchise values can’t only come from raising prices and getting taxpayers to kick in. Sooner or later, you have to improve the product on the field and make it more appealing to a new generation of fans. There’s an estimate that the median age of BB fan is 50. That’s getting up there with opera fans. The new commissioner has to work on that.

  13. fireboss 12 months ago

    Bud twisted arms all day to get that vote. Manfred says he has no idea what went on but promises had to be made to break that deadlock. Bud Lite’s heir is in place. These things don’t always work out, time will tell if he’s Bud’s surrogate or his own man.

  14. Sufferfortribe 12 months ago

    Does it really matter what we as fans think? Our National Pastime is run by lawyers and billionaires. And they don’t care about anything except money.

  15. Red_Line_9 12 months ago

    Paul Giamatti would have been an amazing choice. Not sure how qualified he’d have been, but the press conferences would have been full of droopy self deprecation.

  16. S'wade Brendamule 12 months ago

    “He moved the Brewers out of the AL Central, because he thought it would
    help them be more competitive. Nothing like helping out your own and
    taking a big dump everyone else while you’re at it.”

    You realize that to avoid a conflict of interest, the offer to switch leagues was given to other AL Central teams first, right? And they declined, so the Brewers moved over. It had to be done since the addition of the D-Backs & the D-Rays created uneven numbers (at the time).

    Not sure how this qualifies as “taking a big dump [on] everyone else” ….

  17. Karkat 12 months ago

    It’d definitely have to be a lockout, not a strike. Players have it real good right now.

  18. Red_Line_9 12 months ago

    I’ll play devils advocate and mention that Kansas City had first right of refusal on a move to the NL. End of me even slightly defending Seligs tenure

  19. Karkat 12 months ago

    Honestly I don’t even like best record for World Series home field (how do you really compare the records of a team from the AL East and one for the NL Central?) What about, like, run differential?

  20. Red_Line_9 12 months ago

    Selig just seems to be the lightning rod for what people think of the state of baseball. Most of his defense seems to hinge on economic points that don’t really matter one iota to fans. What I fear is a culture maxing credit cards for $40 tickets, as well as a dwindling youth interest.

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