Red Sox reportedly part of bloc of owners supporting Tom Werner, opposed to Rob Manfred as next commissioner

August 07, 2014 - 7:29 am

When initial reports broke that Red Sox chairman Tom Werner was one of three finalists for the job as Major League Baseball commissioner, there was widespread speculation that he was not a candidate to be taken too seriously. Rob Manfred remains the favorite to take over the job from his boss, the retiring Bud Selig, but there apparently is a group of owners that opposes Manfred's hiring. That group is said to include Red Sox principal owner John Henry, White Sox boss Jerry Reinsdorf and Angels owner Arte Moreno. According to The New York Times, that group chose Werner to be an alternative and is attempting to recruit other owners (specifically those from the Nationals, Athletics, Diamondbacks and Reds) in an attempt to get enough votes to block Manfred's election. MLB executive Tim Brosnan is the third candidate, be he appears to have far less support. The vote is slated to take place at the quarterly owners meetings next Thursday in Baltimore. A candidate needs support from 23 of the 30 owners to be elected. The Times report indicates that Reinsdorf and Selig, longtime friends, have had a falling out because of the issue of Selig's successor. Reinsdorf has told other owners that Selig has not been transparent enough as commissioner, and Manfred would continue that trend. "The next eight days will be about Bud versus Jerry," a senior baseball official told the Times. "Bud is dismayed." Manfred supporters told the Times that the Red Sox oppose Manfred because they want a larger share of profit from their local television contract. They also said that Werner has been promising positions to other owners in a bid to gain votes.