Only 8 months from the end of Bud Selig’s lengthy term as MLB Commissioner, a succession committee has been formed to search for Selig’s successor. Not surprisingly, the committee is formed of nothing but owners.
EXECUTIVE COUNCIL FORMS SUCCESSION COMMITTEE FOR NEXT COMMISSIONER
Seven-Member Committee Will Be Chaired by Cardinals’ Bill DeWitt, Jr.
Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig and the Major League Executive Council announced today the formation of a succession committee, whose work will include the selection process of the game’s next Commissioner.
The Executive Council has convened several times in recent months regarding the procedural steps ahead. As a result of those meetings, a new seven-member committee has been formed to act on behalf of the Executive Council in overseeing the succession process and collecting the input of all 30 Major League Clubs.
The committee will be chaired by William O. (Bill) DeWitt, Jr., Principal Owner and Chief Executive Officer of the St. Louis Cardinals. The other members are Colorado Rockies Owner/Chairman & CEO Dick Monfort; Philadelphia Phillies General Partner, President & CEO David Montgomery; Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Owner Arte Moreno; Pittsburgh Pirates Chairman of the Board Bob Nutting; Minnesota Twins CEO Jim Pohlad; and Chicago White Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf.
DeWitt said: “Our committee will conduct a thorough, discreet process and ultimately will provide guidance to the Executive Council on identifying a successor. All of the parties involved share the goal of acting in our game’s best interests, and thus we will refrain from commenting out of respect for the confidentiality of the process.”
Commissioner Selig has led Major League Baseball since September 9, 1992, when, as Chairman of the Executive Council, he became interim Commissioner. He was unanimously elected Baseball’s ninth Commissioner on July 9, 1998. On September 26, 2013, Selig announced his plans to retire upon the completion of his current term, which runs through January 24, 2015.
Surprisingly, only two members of the committee are big market owners: Arte Moreno and Jerry Reinsdorf. Philadelphia could also qualify to an extent. Neither New York team is represented, and owners of teams that are currently embroiled in territorial disputes (O’s/Nats TV deal, A’s-Giants T-rights) are also not in the committee. For the most part the owners are of medium market teams with no wedge issues to potentially drive their own respective agendas. Unfortunately there are no former players, coaches, or front office staff in the committee, which speaks volumes about what the of candidates we can expect to see.
Going in it was thought that the job was MLB COO Rob Manfred’s to lose. The committee is shaping this as a legitimate, thorough process, though the lack of transparency will automatically make many outsiders suspicious. There are at most three owners meetings sessions left before Selig retires, so they had better get a move on.