Major League Baseball has a new commissioner.
Rob Manfred, a long-time league executive who was promoted to chief operating officer (COO) at the end of the 2013 season, was voted by the league's owners to succeed Bud Selig.
MLB's official Twitter feed confirmed the news:
Tom Werner, a chairman of the Boston Red Sox who served as another finalist, seemed content despite the loss, via ESPN's T.J. Quinn:
ESPN's Jeremy Schaap and Sports Illustrated's Michael McCann noted some interesting facts about the new quartet of major American sports commissioners:
The league's 30 owners delegated in Baltimore, and unsurprisingly considering the weeks of debate and disagreement prior, they appeared to hit a standstill after the first ballots were counted.
According the SportsBusiness Journal's Eric Fisher, Manfred was one vote shy of the 23 needed:
The "Reinsdorf block" refers to powerful Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, who was long believed to have supported Werner.
But just when it seemed the meetings were going to bleed deep into the night, a majority decision was made. Perhaps, as Fisher noted, some owners knew they weren't going to get their way and opted not to delay the inevitable:
The final vote count, via the Los Angeles Times' Bill Shaikin, seems to agree with that train of thought:
Of course, as Joel Sherman of the New York Post added, unanimous doesn't always exactly mean unanimous:
Still, while there is sure to be plenty of debate over the final decision, many were quick to applaud the owners' choice, noting the future of baseball is in good hands.
ESPN's Karl Ravech and Bleacher Report's Scott Miller provided their thoughts:
The Seattle Times' Larry Stone pointed out another positive:
According to USA Today's Bob Nightengale, Manfred has been the league's chief negotiator since 1998, and labor peace has remained since the infamous 1994 lockout that forced the World Series to be canceled.
That's a fantastic track record.
Don't forget about Selig, either, who succeeded in getting his handpicked predecessor the job:
Many will scoff about that fact, but if the NBA is any indication, it was a good move. Long-time commissioner David Stern groomed his deputy, Adam Silver, to take over following his retirement, and the difficult transition has gone about as seamless as possible.
Hopefully Manfred takes a few minutes or seconds to enjoy this moment, because it's only going to get more difficult as we move forward.
From the controversy of the "it matters" All-Star Game to the ongoing MASN negotiations to keeping labor peace, he already has a lot on his plate.
And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Good luck, Robert.
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