Phillies Notes: Selig: No timetable on successor

Posted: May 30, 2014

Bud Selig's term as Major League Baseball's commissioner expires Jan. 25, and he is certain that a seven-man committee - handpicked by Selig - will identify a successor that 23 of the game's 30 owners will approve.

He just does not know when.

"They have a lot of work to do ahead of them," Selig said Wednesday at Citizens Bank Park. "Let's just hope they can get it done in a reasonable amount of time. And if you ask me what that is, I'm not sure I know."

Selig's farewell tour across America stopped in Philadelphia. He received an award from the Wistar Institute for advocacy in improvements to cancer education and research. He held a town-hall-style meeting with Phillies front-office employees later in the afternoon, and then fielded questions from reporters.

This is Selig's 22d year atop the sport. He will turn 80 in July and has vowed to make 2014 his final season as commissioner. Those words, though, have been spoken before.

Speculation pegs Rob Manfred, MLB's chief operating officer, as the favorite to replace Selig. That is reportedly what Selig wants. But a recent New York Times story portrayed White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf as skeptical of Selig's powerful role in the process of appointing a new commissioner.

Selig, on Wednesday, did not deny his influence.

"I'm not going to comment," Selig said. "I know Jerry's last statement was, 'The commissioner will play any role in the process that he wants.' And I think that's a fair assessment. I know there have been some stories, and I try not to overreact on that. I have confidence in their job to get this done. And they will."

One member of the committee, Phillies president David Montgomery, underwent recent surgery to remove cancer from his jaw. Selig said he spoke to Montgomery, who is recovering at home. The two are close friends.

"He reports to me he is doing well," Selig said. "All of us have been very concerned about that."

As for the current state of the Phillies, the outgoing commissioner sees a product of baseball's cyclical system, one that generates good and bad periods.

"But I have great faith in this organization," Selig said. "I'm satisfied that they had a long period of great success. And they'll have it again. There is great ownership and great people running the organization. Of all the concerns I would have, the Phillies organization is not one of them."

Utley leads

Chase Utley has posted all-star numbers through the first two months of the season, and it appears fans will reward him for that. Utley leads National League second basemen in fan voting, revealed for the first time Wednesday. His 204,862-vote advantage over Los Angeles' Dee Gordon is sizable.

Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said Utley's once-bothersome knees have not been a daily issue this season.

"He just never lets up with the routine, which takes time, effort, concentration, focus - all of those things," Sandberg said. "He's prepared every day."

Extra bases

Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez underwent an MRI exam that showed no further damage to his right arm. The $12 million signee from Cuba will resume a throwing program. He is on the 60-day disabled list with shoulder inflammation. . . . Ben Revere's solo homer Tuesday was the first of his career in his 1,466th at-bat. That was the longest homerless streak to start a career since Frank Taveras went 1,594 at-bats from 1972 to '77.

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