GRAPEVINE, Texas (AP) — Commissioner Bud Selig expects baseball owners to vote next week from a list of three candidates for his successor.
“Yes, there will be a vote in Baltimore,” Selig said Wednesday, referring to the owners’ meeting next week. Selig said the seven-member panel appointed earlier this year, and headed by St. Louis Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr., worked independently to get to this point.
“I told them at the time that the job was theirs because, after all, they have to live with the commissioner. I’m going to be gone,” said Selig, who is retiring in January.
“I’ve been very well-informed and briefed and so forth, but they’ve been independent and they’ve come up with this list on their own, and I’m grateful for that. They did what I asked them to do.”
The reported finalists for the job are Rob Manfred, MLB’s chief operating officer; Tim Brosnan, MLB’s executive vice president for business and Boston Red Sox chairman Tom Werner. When asked about those names, Selig said “the list is accurate.”
The commissioner has refrained from publicly endorsing anyone as his replacement after 22 years on the job. Selig spoke to reporters after addressing the opening luncheon for the 2014 Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) World Series, which will feature about 300 players ages 13-18 with 16 teams playing in the Dallas-Fort Worth area this week.
The gathering came a day after the former clinic owner accused of selling performance-enhancing drugs to Alex Rodriguez agreed to plead guilty in what prosecutors called a wide-ranging conspiracy to distribute steroids to both major league ballplayers and high school athletes.
With potentially more legal proceedings related to Biogenesis, after former owner Anthony Bosch and six others were charged, there is always the possibility of additional names being revealed.
“I’m really not concerned,” Selig said. “We did what we had to do. We’ll be very thorough. … I don’t really have any knowledge if there’s anything else coming.
“Look, I’m proud of where we are,” he said. “We have the toughest drug testing program in America, and certain American sports.”
It was a year ago this week that Rodriguez was among 13 players disciplined by Major League Baseball as a result of the Biogenesis scandal, two weeks after Ryan Braun had already accepted a 65-game penalty. Most of the other penalties were for the final 50 games last season, though Rodriguez appealed his much longer suspension and is out for all of this season.
Selig planned later Wednesday to visit the Rangers’ ballpark in nearby Arlington on his tour of the 30 franchises. He also planned to visit with Dr. Bobby Brown, who practiced cardiology in the Dallas-Fort Worth area before serving as vice president of the Texas Rangers and later the AL president from 1984-94.
“I’ve been so busy and things have been so hectic that I haven’t really had a chance to focus on (pending retirement). Next November, December and January, I’m sure I’ll do a lot of that,” Selig said. “I try not to think about that, I really don’t. Yeah, there are a few times when I’ve said to myself, well, this is the last time you’ll do this. And this is the last time I’ll do this. I think the emotion will come later.”