A bit of not-Yankee-specific news in the middle of the day: Bud Selig has named Rob Manfred the COO of Major League Baseball, which seems to set Manfred as the clear favorite to replace Selig as commissioner in 2015. Here’s the announcement from the league:
Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig has begun the transition process in preparation for his retirement in January 2015 by appointing Robert D. Manfred, Jr. as the new Chief Operating Officer of Major League Baseball, he announced today. The promotion is effective immediately.
Manfred, who has worked for Major League Baseball since 1998, most recently served as Executive Vice President for Economics & League Affairs, responsible for major economic matters such as revenue sharing and the debt service rule, as well as franchise-specific matters involving the 30 Major League Clubs. From 1998-2012, he was MLB’s Executive Vice President for Labor Relations & Human Resources. In both capacities, Manfred has managed all issues related to collective bargaining with the Major League Baseball Players Association, including the successful renewals of the Basic Agreement in 2002, 2006 and 2011. Manfred works closely with Club management executives and has addressed a variety of the industry’s economic, governance and policy issues, including the sport’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
The appointment of a Chief Operating Officer reorganizes Central Baseball’s senior management structure. In preparing for his retirement, Selig will continue to lead the industry and will focus on significant Baseball policy matters. As a part of the transition, Manfred will now oversee day-to-day management of the Commissioner’s Office in New York.
“The reorganization of our management team will facilitate an orderly transition and will position Major League Baseball’s operations for sustained prosperity well into the future,” Commissioner Selig said. “I have the utmost confidence in Rob to excel at his expanded duties and to help the industry maintain its extraordinary growth and vitality.
“Rob has tremendous institutional knowledge and first-hand experience with many of our most complex matters, including labor, revenue sharing, competitive balance and the most comprehensive drug program in American professional sports. I am pleased that I will work with him even more closely in the near future.”
Prior to joining MLB full-time in 1998, Manfred was a partner in the Labor and Employment Law section of the firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, with which he served Baseball as outside counsel. Manfred, 55, is a graduate of Cornell University and Harvard Law School. He and his wife, Colleen, have four children.
Manfred said: “I thank Commissioner Selig for placing his faith in me. The opportunity to serve the Clubs in this new position is a distinct honor. I have taken great pride in working closely with the Commissioner and supporting the many outstanding initiatives implemented during his tenure. All of us at Major League Baseball look forward to assisting Commissioner Selig during his transition process in preparation for his retirement.”
Associated Press photo