Bud Selig will retire in six months after 16 years as Major League Baseball’s commissioner and there is one person many in baseball want to be his replacement. There is just one problem: Steve Greenberg doesn’t want the job.
And yet, Greenberg has the perfect resume.
Greenberg is the son of Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg. He went to Yale. He played professional baseball for five seasons. He is a lawyer. He was an agent. He was the deputy commissioner under Fay Vincent in the early 1990s. He started two networks (Classic Sports Network, which later became ESPN Classic, and College Sports TV) that went on to be sold for a $US500 million. He helped launch the MLB Network. He has helped broker the sale of franchises and even helped the Mets secure their $US400 million deal for the naming rights to CitiField.
But when Selig recently asked Greenberg if he wanted to be commissioner, he turned the job down according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today. When other owners got together and asked him again two weeks ago, he again said no.
The problem appears to be that Greenberg already has experience in the commissioner’s office and knows how hard the job can be.
“Early on, I told Bud I was not going to be a candidate,” Greenberg told USA TODAY during an interview. “I know what’s involved. It’s a 24/7, 365-day schedule that the commissioner has to keep to do it right. The three years I spent in the commissioner’s office was exhausting.”
Selig and MLB’s search committee do have other candidates and former commissioner Vincent told USA Today that he believes Rob Manfred, MLB’s chief operating officer, will eventually get the job.
Selig has one major decision left and it could end up being more important than expanded playoffs, steroid testing, the All-Star game, or instant replay and he has six months to change Greenberg’s mind. To the chagrin of many, it doesn’t look like it will happen.
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