Cards' DeWitt leads panel for Selig's successor

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 15, 2014 at 1:20 pm •  Published: May 15, 2014
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NEW YORK (AP) — St. Louis Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. will lead the committee to find a successor to baseball Commissioner Bud Selig.

Chicago White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf also is on the seven-member panel announced Thursday, which includes Colorado chairman Dick Monfort, Philadelphia president Dave Montgomery, Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno, Pittsburgh chairman Bob Nutting and Minnesota chief executive officer Jim Pohlad.

The committee already has started meeting and is to identify the candidate or candidates for Major League Baseball's executive council, which is to make a recommendation to owners. A 75 percent vote among 30 clubs is needed for election.

Selig, who has headed baseball since 1992, announced last fall he plans to retire in January.

I know that a lot of people including my family have had difficulty accepting," Selig said. "They've rehired me four or five times, and I understand people kept thinking that was going to happen again, but it's not."

Selig sidestepped whether he would remain as commissioner emeritus.

"Details will all be worked out in the coming months," he said.

The 72-year-old DeWitt, whose father owned the Cincinnati Reds, has run the Cardinals since he headed the group that purchased the team in 1995 from Anheuser Busch. DeWitt said he will listen to Selig's opinion and there was no plan to hire a search firm.

"We will look to get input from all the clubs. It won't just be a seven-man committee doing everything and informing them at the end," said DeWitt, the new panel's chairman. "We're obviously looking for a strong CEO, a visionary leader who has a passion for the game."

Rob Manfred, baseball's chief operating officer, appears to be the top internal candidate from Selig's staff, and Bob Bowman, the chief executive of MLB Advanced Media, also has been mentioned.

Among those speculated as possibilities include former deputy commissioner Steve Greenberg, former big league club executive Andy MacPhail, Toronto chief executive Paul Beeston, Los Angeles Dodgers chief executive Stan Kasten and New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson.

After Vincent's resignation, then-Texas owner George W. Bush was interested. When it became clear Selig was staying, Bush ran for governor of Texas and then president.