Jun 26, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; Major League Baseball chief operating officer Rob Manfred speaks during Tony Gwynn

Rob Manfred 'heavily favored' to replace Bud Selig after MLB interviews candidates

The top three candidates to replace Bud Selig as commissioner of Major League Baseball have all formally interviewed for the position, reports Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal. Rob Manfred, Tim Brosnan and Bob Bowman are the final candidates for the big spot, with Manfred being “heavily favored’ as the frontrunner at this point.

Selig, 80, has insisted that he’ll finally call it quits when the 2014 season concludes, ending years of speculation as to when he’d finally retire after taking the job in 1992. Baseball’s revenues have exploded under Selig’s watch despite some major hiccups, including the 1994 strike and steroid controversies of the 2000s, and the game remains healthy as he prepares to move on.

Manfred, the current Chief Operating Officer of MLB, has been considered the likely replacement for much of the year. A longtime baseball executive who’s worked in the commissioner’s office since 1998, he’s certainly a logical option to replace Selig given the time he’s spent working under him.

Brosnan, an Executive Vice President at MLB, has been with the Commissioner’s Office since 1991.

A 2012 article on Forbes.com called him “The Man Behind Baseball’s Booming TV And Merchandise Business,” as he’s been a key figure in the highly lucrative deals that MLB has negotiated over the past few years.

Bowman is the President and CEO of MLB Advanced Media, which manages all of baseball’s online activity. He’s helped to oversee the sport’s significant expansion in online content over the years, including the MLB At Bat app and the collection and distribution of a variety of advanced statistics.

Unlike in the NBA, where Adam Silver seamlessly took over for David Stern after years of mentoring, MLB doesn’t have a commissioner-in-waiting, but Manfred is probably the best bet. Whoever is ultimately selected will likely play a huge hand in the future of baseball over the next couple decades.

Tags: Bud Selig MLB

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