USA Today's Bob Nightengale on D&C: Rob Manfred favorite to succeed Bud Selig as commissioner

August 06, 2014 - 5:41 am

USA Today baseball writer Bob Nightengale joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning to discuss Major League Baseball's candidates for commissioner. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page. Nightengale reported Tuesday that MLB identified three finalists to replace Bud Selig as head of the game and will vote on a successor Aug. 14. Owners reportedly will decide between Red Sox chairman Tom Werner, MLB chief operating officer Rob Manfred and MLB executive vice president of business Tim Brosnan. "A lot of guys want Manfred, several people love Brosnan. They're saying, 'You know what, if we can't get our guy and we're going to block Manfred, let's throw Tom Werner in there,'" Nightengale said. Nightengale said Manfred is the favorite among the candidates. He said Manfred is close with Selig and would run baseball similarly to Selig.

"I think he'll be more of a clone of Selig," Nightengale said. "And that's who Selig wants. He's been his right-hand guy forever and always went along with what he did. I think he'd be very much like Selig.

"He's got a fiery temper. I think Selig has got a temper, too, but Selig's you don't see."

Nightengale said baseball wanted candidates with experience in owners meetings who will keep the status quo rather than someone with significant change in mind.

"That's what they wanted," he said. "They want guys who are in all those meetings to keep things going the way they are. They don't want anyone who will ruffle the feathers, they really don't. It was always going to be someone on the inside."

Added Nightengale: "I think it's just a guy that says, 'You know what, we understand where everybody is, we understood the way that Bud did it and we think this guy will operate the same way.' He's got to be a guy that people like, he's got to be a guy to get the consensus and get everybody to agree on something, pretty much make sure the status quo is preserved."

Nightengale said Werner's experience in television work helped his candidacy.

"The TV side, I guess that's where all the money is," Nightengale said. "If you want to branch out and do something a little bit different with TV. The guy they wanted was Steve Greenberg, but he didn't want it."