Selig succession committee appointed

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.


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.

26 thoughts on “Selig succession committee appointed

  1. Is this a blue-ribbon committee?

  2. Maybe they’ll come to a decision in 5 years

  3. Maybe they’ll have a recommendation in 6 months and then spend 5 years not actually making the decision. “It’s complicated.”

  4. @ pjk
    I don’t know if that statement was more funny or sad, but it is true.

  5. This is good news as Selig is for sure leaving office and this cements it. He created the mess with the Nats/O’s and A’s/Giants.

    Another man with “balls” will come in and resolve the issues. Selig created a big market haven and the new guy needs to find a way to have parity in the league going forward.

  6. Reports out of NY indicate that Sandy Alderson is one of the leading candidates to take over the job of MLB Comish. Not sure if this would be helpful to the A’s, but he does have many connections here in the Bay Area and may be able to broker a deal with the Giants. (Although this might be wishful thinking).

    Upon approval, the new Commissioner will ultimately have to have a resolution to the stadiumre-location issues with Tampa Bay and Oakland.

  7. Beauty of Sandy A is he was with the A’s when the T- rights were given to the gints – supposedly without any requirement to build in SCCo- this situation would be resolved quickly as he could call bullshit on baer

  8. Alderson would be just has hamstrung as Selig on the A’s. More so. There’s no way one of his first moves as Commish would be to piss off one of the owners. In no longer matters what the circumstances behind the Giants acquiring the territory anymore. It’s been approved and re-approved several times at this point. If it were as simple as simply reversing it, Selig would have done that long ago.

  9. @ dmoas agree 100%, but I guess we have to hope for something to shake this logjam

  10. @dmoas: A big part of the Giants argument is centered around revenue related to paying off stadium debt. That is very nearly all paid off and when it is, that argument is gone.

  11. What is puzzling is how the giants by themselves are blocking the SJ move, eight votes would be required to block the move – do the Giants have seven other no votes? possibly – seems unlikely though.

  12. Seems very likely. Just look at the NBA and their reluctance to remove an avowed racist and all around douche. Owners are loathe to go against their own lest what goes around comes around.

  13. @Dan: accurate comparison – Sterling and the Giants owners – both are loathesome.

    • @Dan/duffer – Last week someone was ripped for comparing Wolff to Sterling, now we’re encouraging comparisons of Baer/Johnson to Sterling? The Giants are greedy, yes. That’s a far cry from what Sterling is.

  14. I expect the next MLB Commissioner to have an interim status for at least one season, as the Lodge decides whether they want to commit to this person. In that time, it’s unlikely the next Commissioner will rock the boat and make a decision on anything controversial.

  15. The next commissioner will not resolve the Giants/A’s squabble. The courts will in the coming months.

    If SJ has their appeal upheld it is over and MLB will have to settle this or risk a full blown trial. In years past MLB when faced with opening up their books have been known to settle.

    If SJ loses, then they will appeal to the Supreme Court and things will delay for a while as the SCOTUS will have to decide if they want to hear the case or not which could take a year and then another year to hear it if they do choose to do so.

    If SJ loses it buys the new commissioner time to do “something” or as we have seen the past 5+ years “nothing”.

    The new commissioner has to be far more forward thinking than Selig and baseball has to stop being “last to the party” amongst the other sports.

  16. @sid – I agree this will be settled by the court’s decision, whether it is for or against the move.

    However, I think the 9th circuit will take the same position as the lower court… they agree the ATE is antiquated and has no place today but it’s not their place to reverse a previous SCOTUS decision, so they will pretty much quickly deny SJ’s claim so SJ can appeal to SCOTUS as quickly as they can.

  17. ML, not trying to encourage any comparison to the actions of Sterling or the Giants owners. Just pointing out the fact owners are always reluctant to vote against one of their own, even when one is as vile as Sterling. The Giants owners are obviously not even bad guys vis-a-vis the A’s situation despite the prevailing dislike for them on this site. They’re just looking out for their best business interests which many owners may agree with them on despite the downside it has for Lew and the A’s.

  18. @Dan: Thats where plenty of giants fans are 100% nuts – There is no other situation in professional sports (has has been in the past) where one team in a two team fanbase situation is attempting to hose the other team as the giants owners are attempting to do to the A’s. Nothing like this situation is occurring (or has occurred) in the NFL, NBA, or NHL. At best the giants owners are very bad sports – and what they are attempting to do would be illegal in the business world – so the “just business” b.s. is total nonsense.

  19. We’ll see. But I have no faith in the owners to go against the Giants ultimately. The doubts some of them have expressed already about territorial integrity make me seriously doubt they’d risk messing with what Selig has told them is the Giants territory. Despite how asinine the whole Bay Area division has been since the beginning.

    As for historically, this isn’t the first time one team has been clearly anticompetitive with a region mate. Boston, Philly, Chicago, St Louis, etc… were not always the lovefests that the other joint markets are today.

  20. Then, if the new MLB Commish is not willing to do anything about the A’s and Rays stadium issues, then what’s the point of having a Commish?…..other than to suspend steroid users.

    If the A’s lose on all fronts….relocation….lawsuit..territorial rights…….then what does anyone here think will happen to the team?

    There is no current viable market for the A’s to move to. A new stadium anywhere is at least 3 years away-at best….and taxpayers in so-called re-location cities will NOT and I mean NOT vote to tax themselves in order to enrich already billionaire owners.

    It’s unbelievable that a business entity in this Country can be treated as the A’s have been by MLB.

  21. “As for historically, this isn’t the first time one team has been clearly anticompetitive with a region mate. Boston, Philly, Chicago, St Louis, etc… were not always the lovefests that the other joint markets are today.”

    @Dan, Historically, your statement is not true. Throughout MLB history, there have been numerous instances when a team in a two-team city came to the rescue of its other city team when that other team had ballpark issues and needed at least a temporary home. In some instances it was for several decades that one team played in the other team’s ballpark. For example, In Philadelphia, the Phillies had played at the A’s Shibe Park from 1938 to 1955 before the A’s moved to Kansas City. In St. Louis, the Cardinals had played at the Browns’ Sportsmans Park for several decades before the Browns moved to become the Baltimore Orioles back in 1954. Even the Yankees had played at the Giants’ Polo Grounds for about ten year before Babe Ruth’s popularity helped the Yankees build their own Yankee Stadium. In more modern times, the Yankees played at Shea Stadium for two seasons while Yankee Stadium was being renovated, and the Angels played at Dodger Stadium from 1962 thru 1965 while Anaheim Stadium was being constructed. These are all prime examples of mutual cooperation between teams coexisting in the same area. On the other hand, the ongoing competitive hostility from the Giants to their Bay Area market shared partner the A’s is unprecedented. MLB is responsible for allowing this to continue and self perpetuate, especially when it is hurtful to one of its members(A’s).

  22. @ llpec
    Vary good points; it would be nice if something actually got done. I am just afraid that the something is wait at the coliseum for 10-15 years and whichever community forks over the money that Oakland and San Jose cant (wont), then the A’s are gone from the Bay Area all together.
    Unfortunately while the Pro/Only Oakland, and some Pro San Jose (although far fewer), fight over the merits of each city and talk up what each of them see as what they deserve, the A’s may be on their way to Portland, San Antonio, or Mars, it’s a shame.

  23. @Dan it’s quite certain that Boston, Philly, Chicago, etc. did not employ scumbag tactics such as lawsuits, illegal business practices (MLB ATE), false propaganda groups (Stand for San Jose), the b.s. propaganda efforts, KNBR, Tim Kawakami, Ratto, etc. – the giants owners group has taken bad sportsmanship to a whole new level.

  24. @DP- I believe the 9th circuit will uphold sj’s appeal. This is where piazza won after losing in the lower levels just like sj.

    Precedence is huge and the fact they allowed an expedited appeal is bad news for MLB.

    I believe they uphold it and ask for a full blown trial, in which case A’s get into sj as part of a settlement.

    I just hope Selig is still around to see it happen before he leaves office.

  25. @duffer: My feeling is the Giants have the Yankees (Steinbrenner has implied as much) and should have the Mets, the Rays moving to New Jersey is a threat to both of them and maybe the Phillies too. Yhat makes it a conflict. A commissioner can do something if the vote would be 29-1, but 27-3 or 26-4 is a different story.

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