MLB notebook: Manfred chosen to succeed Selig as commissioner
Rob Manfred was elected baseball's 10th commissioner Thursday and will succeed Bud Selig in January.
A labor lawyer who has worked for Major League Baseball since 1998, Manfred beat out Red Sox chairman Tom Werner in the first contested vote for a new commissioner in 46 years. The third candidate, MLB executive vice president of business Tim Brosnan, dropped out just before the start of voting.
“I am tremendously honored by the confidence owners showed in me today,” Manfred said. “I have very big shoes to fill.”
The 55-year-old Manfred, who grew up in Rome, N.Y. — about an hour's drive from the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown— must address issues that include decreased interest in baseball among younger people and longer games. He has served as MLB's chief operating officer for the past year.
“There is no doubt in my mind he has the temperament, the training, the experience,” Selig said.
Selig turned 80 last month and has ruled baseball since September 1992, when he was among the owners who forced commissioner Fay Vincent's resignation. He said he intends to retire in January.
Manfred fell one vote shy of the 23 out of 30 owners needed in the first ballot earlier Thursday. On the second ballot, he won unanimously, several owners confirmed.
Each candidate spoke to owners for about an hour Wednesday and met in sessions Thursday morning with groups of 10 teams.
Werner was supported by White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf and Angels owner Arte Moreno. Other teams have said Reinsdorf wanted a commissioner who would take a harsher stance in labor negotiations.
Selig is the second-longest-serving head of baseball behind Kenesaw Mountain Landis (1920-44).
The trio of candidates was picked by a seven-man succession committee chaired by St. Louis Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr.
MLB's last contested election for commissioner was after Spike Eckert was fired in December 1968.
Bowie Kuhn, counsel to baseball's Player Relations Committee, was elected commissioner pro-tem on Feb. 4, 1969, with a one-year term. He was voted a seven-year term that August and remained in office until October 1984, when he was replaced by Los Angeles Olympics head Peter Ueberroth.
Around the league
Roger Clemens took advantage of his induction into the Red Sox Hall of Fame to throw batting practice to two of his sons on the field at Fenway Park. ... The Reds said pitcher Homer Bailey is headed to the disabled list with a strained right elbow. Bailey is 9-5 with a 3.71 ERA. ... The Padres placed first baseman Yonder Alonso on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained forearm. ... The Athletics placed shortstop Jed Lowrie on the 15-day disabled list with a hairline fracture of his right index finger.
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