Commissioner Bud Selig will step aside from his role at the helm of Major League Baseball next January, but who his successor will be continues to be a question without a strong answer. Multiple repots over the past week have confirmed that Major League Baseball has formed a committee, which includes a select group of seven owners and executives, to choose the league’s next leader.
It is believed that Selig has a favorite in mind for the role, current MLB COO Rob Manfred. It would appear, however, that not everyone is necessarily on board with such an idea. Michael S. Schmidt of the New York Times, who spoke with numerous other owners on the condition of anonymity, reports that Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf has been highly vocal against the proposal for a variety of reasons.
One of Reinsdorf’s biggest concerns seems to center on the fact that once Selig steps aside, he will no longer have any association with the game of baseball. He’s no longer an owner and as such he shouldn’t have a say in who his successor will be. There needs to be more transparency to the process. He appears comfortable with Selig being an advisor to the process, but doesn’t want him directly involved. Schmidt reached out to Reinsdorf for comment and was met with a rapid, but succinct response:
What I have said about Rob is none of your business.
Schmidt does note that Reinsdorf told him that he believes Selig was the game’s best commissioner and he’s never said a negative word about him. He simply believes that the owners should make the call, not Selig. Reinsdorf has long been one of Selig’s strongest supporters, which makes this situation all the more interesting.
Major League Baseball ultimately will need the votes of all thirty owners before a final appointment can be made. 23 of the 30 must vote in agreement before a successor will formally be named. This committee is likely focused on narrowing the potential candidate field down before making a formal recommendation to the rest of the owners. When that will take place remains unknown.
In addition to Manfred, it is believed that there are at least six other candidates being considered: Disney’s CEO Bob Iger, San Francisco Giants president Larry Baer, Atlanta Braves chairman Terry McGuirk, Detroit Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski, Tim Brosnan, and Rob Bowman. Brosnan and Bowman are senior business executives in the Commissioner’s Office, but both are viewed as long shots.