Three days after USA Today reported that the search for commissioner Bud Selig’s successor was whittled down to three candidates, Selig addressed the process on Friday.
Selig also denied reports of a rift between him and Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf.
The owners will reportedly choose between Rob Manfred, Tim Brosnan and Tom Werner during an Aug. 14 vote.
“Since discussions began in January about formulating an orderly process for selecting the next commissioner, I have stated both privately and publicly that my desire was to conduct a thorough, thoughtful and discreet search that includes the input of all 30 major league clubs,” Selig said in a statement. “The seven-member Succession Committee, which was named on May 15th and has been chaired with distinction by Bill DeWitt, has accomplished this goal while working independently to get to the point we are today. While Bill has kept me well-informed, the results of this process are a reflection of the committee’s work alone, and I have not promoted individual candidates.
“As we approach next week’s vote, I will continue to encourage clubs to voice their opinions within the confines of this process.”
Selig also said there are no hard feelings between him and Reinsdorf.
“Reports of personal animosity between Jerry Reinsdorf and me — or any other alleged disputes between owners regarding the process or the candidates — are unfounded and unproductive,” he said. “I respect the ownership of our 30 franchises and have complete faith that the process will produce an individual that all in Baseball will be eager to support.”
Manfred, MLB’s chief operating officer for the past 15 years, has worked closely with Selig during his tenure. His career highlights include helping to broker labor deals and having a major hand in helping the Los Angeles Dodgers through bankruptcy.
Brosnan, who has worked as MLB’s executive vice president of business for 23 years, has been a major player in broadcasting, licensing and sponsorship deals that have helped expand revenues.
Werner, a Boston Red Sox chairman who has also been a member of the ownership group for 12 years, worked as a television executive prior to joining the Red Sox. He is also chairman for Liverpool FC of the English Premier League.
The new commissioner needs 23 of 30 votes to be elected. If no candidate is elected on the first ballot, owners would hold votes until a candidate is finally elected.
The 80-year-old Selig announced his retirement in September 2013. He is scheduled to stay aboard until Jan. 24, ending a tenure of 45 years with MLB, including the last 22 as commissioner.