Major league owners will convene in Baltimore next week for their quarterly meeting, and they are expected to elect a new commissioner to replace Bud Selig, who will retire in January after presiding over the sport in both an interim and permanent capacity for more than 22 years.
The two-day meeting will take place Wednesday and Thursday at the downtown Hyatt Regency and, according to a Major League Baseball source, is not expected to venture far afield from the choice of the new commissioner, who will be selected from a field of finalists that include MLB chief operating officer Rob Manfred, MLB executive vice president of business Tim Brosnan and Boston Red Sox chairman Tom Werner.
The owners could make quite a local splash by voting to place the 2016 All-Star Game at Camden Yards or make big headlines by taking action on the simmering MASN rights dispute between the Orioles and the Washington Nationals. But neither issue is expected to be discussed during the two-day summit.
Selig, 80, who presided over the game during its most volatile labor period and also spent a large part of his tenure on a crusade to stamp out the abuse of performance-enhancing drugs at both the major league and minor league levels, has long been believed to favor Manfred as his replacement.
Manfred was at Selig’s side throughout the 1994-95 labor war and has led the ownership side through negotiations that eventually resulted in one of the toughest anti-steroid programs in professional sports.
Brosnan, meanwhile, has been the marketing point man during an era of skyrocketing national TV rights revenues and has played a major role in growing the game’s licensing, sponsorships and international outreach.
Werner owned the San Diego Padres for a decade before joining John Henry and former Orioles president Larry Lucchino to form the Fenway Sports Group, which owns the Red Sox, Fenway Park, 80 percent of the New England Sports Network (NESN) and the Liverpool Football Club.
Manfred is considered the favorite, but he needs the votes of 23 of the 30 owners to become the game's 10th commissioner.