Come January 2015, 80-year-old outgoing MLB commissioner Bud Selig will step down, and in will walk Rob Manfred, who has worked as an attorney for MLB since 1994.
While it took several ballots for Manfred to gain the 23 votes needed though the end result was never in serious doubt, there was the fear a small band of big-market owners -- most notably John Henry (Red Sox), Arte Moreno (Angels) and ringleader Jerry Reinsdorf (White sox) -- were not comfortable turning over the keys of their industry to someone who didn't have the prerequisite skin in the game Selig had when he became commissioner. Selig was chosen to take over in 1992, when a band of owners ousted then-commissioner Fay Vincent. At the time, Selig was the owner of the Brewers, a position he had to divest himself of.
In the end, the owners wanted the comfort level they had with Manfred and his ability to keep labor peace. The owners may want Manfred to push new union leader Tony Clark in the negotiations leading up to a new basic agreement when the current one expires in 2016.
Peter Angelos' Revealing Comment
After the final vote for the new commissioner, as most of the out-of-town owners scurried to get to the airport and leave Baltimore, Orioles owner Peter Angelos took a moment to share his views.
After Angelos was questioned about the new commissioner, Peter Schmuck of The Baltimore Sun asked about the ongoing MASN dispute, and whether or not he and Selig had time to discuss it.
Angelos was not going to answer the question directly, but what he did say was revealing, "I am not, not going to discuss. … That's a matter for the courts."
When news of the disagreement was leaked to The Hollywood Reporter, it had to be embarrassing for Selig. He is going to be trying to wrap up some business before he leaves office in January. But no single piece of business will be as hard for him to gain closure with then the issue of TV rights fees between the Orioles and Nationals. If there were any doubts about that before last week, the fact that Angelos is now clearly referring to this as "a matter for the courts" should mean he is not going to back down on what he feels is a legally binding contract of terms by which MASN was created.
Since the inception of MASN, and even in how it was created, Selig has always seemed to underestimate Angelos. If I had to guess, I'd say Selig will leave office the same way -- underestimating the Orioles steadfast owner.
Here are this week's rankings:
1. Los Angeles Dodgers (70-56 overall record, No. 3 ranking last week)
2. Los Angeles Angels (72-50, No. 5)
3. Washington Nationals (69-53, No. 6)
4. Baltimore Orioles (70-52, No. 2)
5. Oakland A's (73-51, No. 1)
6. Detroit Tigers (66-56, No. 4)
7. Seattle Mariners (67-56, No. 9)
8. Milwaukee Brewers (70-55, No. 8)
9. Kansas City Royals (68-55, No. 13)
10. Tampa Bay Rays (61-63, No. 12)
11. St. Louis Cardinals (66-57, No. 11)
12. New York Yankees (63-59, No. 7)
13. Pittsburgh Pirates (64-60, No. 10)
14. Miami Marlins (62-62, No. 17)
15. Atlanta Braves (64-60, No. 18)
16. Cleveland Indians (62-61, No. 19)
17. Toronto Blue Jays (64-61, No. 14)
18. San Francisco Giants (65-58, No. 15)
19 Cincinnati Reds (61-63, No. 16)
20. San Diego Padres (58-65, No. 22)
21. Boston Red Sox (56-67, No. 23)
22. New York Mets (59-66, No. 20)
23. Chicago White Sox (59-65, No. 21)
24. Minnesota Twins (55-67, No. 25)
25. Philadelphia Phillies (54-70, No. 24)
26. Chicago Cubs (53-70, No. 26)
27. Arizona Diamondbacks (53-71, No. 27)
28. Houston Astros (52-73, No. 28)
29. Texas Rangers (48-76, No. 29)
30. Colorado Rockies (49-75, No. 30)