Aug 14, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Newly elected commissioner of baseball Rob Manfred leaves a press conference after being elected by team owners to be the next commissioner of Major League Baseball. Mandatory Credit: H.Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports

MLB has found its 10th Commissioner in Rob Manfred

It’s official Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig is actually going to follow through and retire. It’s also official that Major League Baseball’s Chief Operating Officer Robert Manfred has been elected as Selig’s successor and the 10th Commissioner in MLB history.

How does the election process work? Who votes in it? The owners from each MLB team are the voters. To be elected a candidate, which in this case was whittled down to three: Manfred, Boston Red Sox chairman/co-owner Tom Werner and MLB’s executive vice president of business Tim Brosnan, must get at least 23 of the league’s 30 teams to vote for him in order to be elected. Often the voting process can go on for more than one vote. Brosnan withdrew from the race before the voting began Thursday.

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported the closest vote left Manfred with 22 votes, just one shy of being elected to the position. In the final vote Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reported that the vote was now a unanimous 30-0 vote for Manfred but asserts that seven of the eight voters in the second top candidate Tom Warner’s camp may not have been swayed by Selig. 

Of course an “olive branch for posterity” as Shaikin puts it is certainly not a bad thing. Selig has shown that a good relationship between the owners, players and commissioner’s office are essential to effectively running the game and improving it.

Selig has served as the Commissioner of MLB for the past 22 years. Manfred will officially succeed him in January 2015. Selig is credited with a lot of achievements over the past two decades. He’s raised baseball’s revenue from $1.2 billion in 1992 to $7.5 billion in 2012. After the strike of 1995 he presided over a period in which there was a peaceful and working relationship between MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA). Teri Thompson of the New York Daily News wrote of Selig,

“Selig also established what is considered to be the most comprehensive drug program in professional sports, establishing the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program through collective bargaining, including random, in-season blood testing for human growth hormone as well as urine testing for other performance-enhancing drugs.”

Among many other accomplishments Selig is responsible for implementing the competitive balance tax on the higher spending teams as well as revenue sharing. He expanded the playoffs in 1995 to include the wild card and again in 2012. He was also responsible for beginning interleague play in 1997. He also started MLB Advanced Media in 2009, MLB Network in 2012 and instant replay in 2013, then expanding it this season.

Of Manfred, Selig said,

 “There is no doubt in my mind he has the training, the temperament, the experience to be a very, very successful Commissioner. And I have justifiably very high expectations.”

Manfred called Selig a friend and a mentor noting that he had big shoes to fill. He also acknowledged the owners saying,

“I have to say I am tremendously honored by the confidence that the owners showed in me today, electing me to be the 10th Commissioner of baseball.”

Perviouly a consultant for the league Manfred became a full-time employee of the league in 1998, COO in 2013 and on January 24, 2015 he will officially be the 10th Commissioner of MLB.


Tags: Commissioner Of Major League Baseball MLB Rob Manfred

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