Manfred rated favorite to succeed Selig as MLB boss

Wed Aug 13, 2014 3:35pm EDT
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By Larry Fine

(Reuters) - Rob Manfred, Major League Baseball's chief operating officer, is considered the favorite to succeed Bud Selig as MLB commissioner among three candidates facing a Thursday vote by club owners over a changing of the guard.

Manfred, Selig's right-hand man, was recommended by a search committee along with MLB executive vice president in charge of business Tim Brosnan and Boston Red Sox chairman Tom Werner as candidates to take over the reins of the $8 billion league.

Selig, 80, will end a 23-year reign, second longest behind the 24 years served by MLB's first commissioner, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, in January.

A three-quarters vote is required to elect a new commissioner, with the winner needing the backing of 23 of the 30 clubs at MLB's quarterly meeting in Baltimore.

The meeting, which begins on Wednesday, will include presentations by Manfred, Werner and Brosnan outlining their visions for the game's future to the club owners.

A voting stalemate could open the door for a darkhorse candidate with former player, manager and current MLB executive Joe Torre, Detroit Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski and broadcaster Bob Costas among longshots who might be considered.

Former commissioner Fay Vincent, Selig's predecessor who resigned in 1992 after a vote of no-confidence engineered by Selig and other disaffected owners, believes Selig will get his way and see right-hand man Manfred win the job.

"He is the Rocky Marciano of baseball politics. He is undefeated," Vincent told ESPN Radio on the eve of the vote.   Continued...

Rob Manfred, executive vice president of labor and human resources in the Office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball, testifies before the Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce committee on "The NFL StarCaps Case: Are Sports' Anti-Doping Programs at a Legal Crossroads?" on Capitol Hill in Washington November 3, 2009.    REUTERS/Joshua Roberts