By Ronald Blum
AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK – St. Louis Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt was appointed chairman of a succession committee on Thursday to determine the process for replacing baseball Commissioner Bud Selig.
Chicago White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf also is on the panel, 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.
Selig, who plans to retire in January, sidestepped a question of whether he would remain as commissioner emeritus.
“Our committee will conduct a thorough, discreet process and ultimately will provide guidance to the executive council on identifying a successor,” DeWitt said in a statement. “All of the parties involved share the goal of acting in our game’s best interests.”
Rob Manfred, baseball’s chief operating officer, appears to be the top internal candidate from Selig’s staff. No candidates appear to have a developed a consensus among owners. A 75 percent vote among owners is needed for election.
Among those speculated as possibilities for the job include former deputy commissioner Steve Greenberg, former big league executive Andy MacPhail, Toronto chief executive Paul Beeston, Los Angeles Dodgers chief executive Stan Kasten and New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson.
Selig said last September he would retire on Jan. 24, 2015, after 22 years in charge, two shy of the record set when Kenesaw Mountain Landis held the job from November 1920 to November 1944.
Selig, then the Milwaukee Brewers owner, took over as chairman of the executive council in September 1992 following Fay Vincent’s forced resignation. A search committee headed by Atlanta Braves Chairman Bill Bartholomay was announced the following February and it recommended Arnold Weber, then the Northwestern University president, and Harvey Schiller, then with the U.S. Olympic Committee. But owners suspended the search in January 1994 after saying the committee looked at 382 candidates.
Another search committee, headed by Colorado Rockies chairman Jerry McMorris, was appointed in January 1997. McMorris said five candidates were identified and Selig repeatedly said he would not take the job full time.
Selig was formally elected on July 9, 1998, agreed to a new contract in 2001, then first announced his planned retirement in 2003. He went on to agree to new contracts in 2004, 2008 and 2012.