The Commissioner

Posted by on August 14th, 2014  •  0 Comments  • 

They had lots of thunder and lightning and heavy rain over the last 48-hours in Baltimore, some 6-inches of rain in all.
 
And you thought that was a storm.  Think of the storm later this morning, when the owners meet to select-and-vote on a Commissioner to replace Bud Selig.
 
This vote may take as long as the selection of the Pope, and the smoke from the chimney this time won’t mean a choice has been made, but rather an inferno of controversy has erupted in the team hotel meeting rooms.
 
There are 3-candidates, two from within the ranks of baseball, Rob Manfred, the right hand man to Selig, and Tim Brosnan, and longtime business and marketing executive from Park Avenue.
 
It is the third candidate who will cause the storm, Boston Red Sox part owner Tom Werner.  Yes, that Tom Werner, of San Diego Padres fame, or is it shame.
 
Selig has canvassed the 30-owners and reportedly believes Manfred, a labor negotiator and business exec, is the right candidate.  Brosnan became a late entrant coming from a non baseball background. 
 
Werner is the Hollywood TV exec, who runs the Red Sox portion of NESN-their big money TV network.  He is not the decision maker, he is not the money man, but is more the third wheel in the power hierarchy led by the brilliance of Larry Lucchino, and the richness of lead owner John Henry’s money.
 
If there is a more vilified owner in San Diego history than Werner, they might be running second, maybe Donald Sterling, late of the since-sold Clippers of the NBA.
 
But Werner is a puppet candidate of power brokers Jerry Reinsdorf (White Sox) and Arte Moreno (Angels).
 
What he has done good for baseball may take some time to research and find. 
 
What he has done bad for baseball is right there in the history books.  The Padres, fire sales, 13M payroll, trades of the stars, Roseanne Barr’s crotch-grabbing national anthem, and more.
 
That qualifies him to be commissioner?
 
Werner’s Band of 15-owners bought the team from the Kroc family and was immediately shocked to find they had to pay not only the purchase price, but their share of free agent collusion damages from the Jack Morris lawsuits of that era.
 
Then as payrolls increased, by virtue of arbitration, they took an 89-win team and traded it into a 100-loss franchise, all the time whining about money when cash-calls had to be made.  They modernized the term “Firesale”.
 
Again, I ask, this is your candidate for the top job in baseball?  Based on what?
 
They only need 7-votes to kill any vote for Manfred.  This could drag out forever, and this makes no sense.   
 
Oh there will be debate for sure about having another owner elevated to the job, compared to someone already entwined in the inner workings of the sport and business of baseball.
 
Hear the thunder?  Waiting for the torrent of criticism? Looking for the smoke from the  hotel suites? 
 
And you thought the storms mid week in Baltimore were bad, just wait to see what happens when it comes time to vote today or tomorrow on baseball’s new leader.

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