After an owner’s meeting and an election, Rob Manfred, the MLB Chief Operating Officer, has been elected as the incoming commissioner to replace Bud Selig as his retirement nears. You’ve all heard Manfred’s name tossed around in talks about Selig’s predecessor, but we’ll give you a better idea of who he is as we await the second recent commissioner change in major sports.
But first, here’s Bud Selig and Bill DeWitt and Manfred himself on the big news:
Manfred grew up in Rome, not the city in Italy, but the one in New York. He attended Cornell University and Harvard Law School, so he’s obviously a bright guy. His law career took him to the Massachusetts courts before he settled down with a labor law firm.
His first baseball involvement came back during the 1994-95 strike when Manfred served as counsel for the owners in the labor dispute.
In 1998, he joined baseball as the Executive Vice President of Economics and League Affairs. He held that position until 2013, when Selig promoted him to COO, a spot which was vacant from 2010 to that point following the firing of Bob DuPuy.
Manfred has led the MLB in labor negotations since he first joined the league, acting as the lead negotiator in all CBA discussions through the years. The Yankees backed Manfred strongly as he looked to take over for Selig, strongly believing that the league’s calm labor situation compared to the NFL and NBA is a virtue and wants to keep it that way.
Tom Werner, Red Sox chairman, was another strong candidate for the commissioner position. The Sox backed him and believed that baseball needs a much stronger CBA.
But when the dust settled, Manfred was the victor and will bring with him a new era of baseball, leaving behind a Selig era that was strongly tainted by steroid use.