On August 14, team owners met and voted on Bud Selig’s successor as the next commissioner of Major League Baseball. Selig’s term comes to an end on January 24, 2015.
After the initial vote, Rob Manfred was one vote short of the required 23 and after some overtime work, was officially announced as the next commissioner following a unanimous vote. Manfred was serving as Major League Baseball’s COO and was viewed as Selig’s right-hand man.
Newly acquired Los Angeles Dodgers’ infielder Darwin Barney stated that after clarification, he felt comfortable with the decision, via J.P. Hoornstra of Los Angeles Daily News:
I think when Tim Clark came out and said he was happy with the decision, that probably put a lot of players at ease. That’s what it did for me.”
The soon-to-be tenth commissioner was at the center of the strike that took place in 1994 and his background in labor law helped facilitate the owners’ negotiating committee.
Kershaw commented on the direction of baseball and had a little advice for Manfred:
The last two decades have been pretty good for baseball. The direction we’re headed is pretty good. But if I was him, I would try to just kind of keep it status quo.”
Major League Baseball has employed the 55-year-old since 1998 when he started as the Executive Vice President for Labor Relations and Human Resources. Manfred was also a prominent figure in the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement in 2002, 2006 and 2011.
Dodgers’ team president Stan Kasten was at the meeting when he was elected and had this to say about his longtime friend:
He’s as bright a person as you’ll ever find, intellectually. As great a passion for this sport as anyone you’ll ever meet, and a mastery of details involving absolutely every facet of our business — legal, business, on-field — so he’s just a wonderful choice.”
Manfred had little to say when he was elected, but was not shy in mentioning that he had some big footsteps to fill and that he was grateful for everything commissioner Selig had done for him. Manfred grew up in New York and graduated from Harvard Law School before embarking on his career in professional baseball.
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