Question of the day: Who should replace Bud Selig as baseball commissioner?
Reporters from around the Tribune Co. weigh in on who should be the next baseball commissioner when Bud Selig retires in 2012. Feel free to leave a comment of your own.
Paul Doyle, Hartford Courant
The clock is ticking on Bud Selig’s reign and we’ll hear plenty of names over the next few years, from baseball insiders such as Andy MacPhail and Larry Lucchino to company men such as Bob DuPuy and Jimmie Lee Solomon.
Let’s think outside the batter’s box. Our first choice is Scott Boras, the de facto king of baseball. He already runs the game, so let’s just give him the title.
But since the commissioner represents the owners and Boras is management’s enemy, we understand this candidacy is dead before it starts. Instead, we need someone who is politically savvy, who can work every angle and bring some law-and-order to the national pastime.
Our choice: Rudy Giuliani, former New York mayor and rabid Yankees fans. If Rudy can scrub PEDs out of baseball the way he cleaned the seediness out of Times Square, we’ll see bodies shrink and numbers deflate by the end of his first spring training in office.
And don’t be concerned with his Yankees obsession. While campaigning in New Hampshire for president in October 2007, Giuliani told members of Red Sox Nation that he was cheering for Boston in the World Series.
So clearly, his allegiance to the Yankees won’t prevent him from working an audience. Figure he’ll represent all factions of baseball, no matter the size of the market.
Start the campaign — Rudy in 2012.
Dave van Dyck, Chicago Tribune
Let’s take a look at Bud Selig’s strengths: Baseball credibility, trust from ownership and union alike, knowledge of the game’s inner workings, deep respect of baseball’s rich and important history with willingness to change, and the personality to keep media and fans on his side.
Because Selig may be the best modern-day commissioner, it will be difficult to find another like him. It is dangerous to entrust the game to any lawyer, scholar or supposed sports expert, as baseball has discovered in the last few decades. In fact, that’s how Selig became commissioner in the first place.
Our suggestion is George W. Bush, like Selig, a former owner who knows how things work on the inside.
Compared to his last job, this might actually be fun for him too.
Keith Groller, the Morning Call
George W. Bush, Bob Costas and Joe Torre all are dreamy media choices, but the next baseball commissioner needs to have a strong connection with the fans. And you don’t develop that kinship from the Oval Office, a TV studio or even a dugout.
You develop that rapport by having to sell tickets and pleasing people, while still keeping an eye on the bottom line.
No one has excelled more at that than Phillies President David Montgomery, whose firm but down-to-earth style has appeased the most demanding fans in the sport. Under his soft-spoken guidance, the Phillies have become as attractive as any franchise in the game.
Monty has the baseball and business background to do what’s right and can do it without the whiff of arrogance that often plagued Bud Selig.
Photo: Bud Selig speaks during a news conference Monday prior to All-Star Game festivities in Anaheim. Credit: Jae C. Hong / Associated Press