One of the three finalists to replace retiring MLB commissioner Bud Selig has dropped out of the running, according to a report.
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported that Tim Brosnan, an MLB vice president, decided to withdraw Thursday, leaving only MLB chief operating officer Rob Manfred and Boston Red Sox part owner Tim Werner as finalists.
It appeared Manfred would be a slam-dunk choice as Selig’s replacement after serving as Selig’s right-hand man in the sport for years, even before he was named COO in 2013.
But Werner has emerged as a contender with the backing of influential Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf—for years a Selig confidante and ally.
According to Heyman’s report, Brosnan is believed to be someone who could join Werner’s team.
Reports say Manfred has about 20 votes, but will need 23 to be elected on Thursday. Multiple votes may be conducted, but if no candidate gets 23, the owners could declare a stalemate and adjourn their meeting without selecting a replacement for Selig, who is planning to retire in January.
Reinsdorf, according to the New York Times, believes Manfred has given too many concessions to the Major League Baseball Players Association and wants a more confrontational commissioner.
Reinsdorf is said to have the support of Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno.
Now why anyone in baseball would want to adopt a get-tough policy with the players’ union—the same union that gave huge concessions for drug testing and the associated penalties—is questionable to the point of defying logic?
Baseball’s revenues are at all-time highs, the owners have new caps on amateur and international signing bonuses—also agreed to by the union—and getting draft-pick compensation tied to free agency.
Reinsdorf was one of the hardest of ownership’s hardliners for a salary cap during the players strike/lockout that shut the game down for the final two months in 1994 and delayed the start of the 1995 season.
Why any owner would want to return to that atmosphere is simply mind-boggling.