Boston Red Sox chairman Tom Werner would make a "great" MLB commissioner in the eyes of Red Sox owner John Henry, Henry told the Boston Herald in an email exchange.
Werner is one of three finalists to succeed Bud Selig, whose term as commissioner ends in January 2015. The owners will vote on the new commissioner on Thursday in Baltimore, choosing among Werner, MLB chief executive officer Rob Manfred and MLB executive vice president of business Tim Brosnan.
“There is no doubt he would make a great commissioner,” Henry said of Werner. “Tom is one of the most popular owners because he’s very passionate about baseball, has a sense of duty as evidenced by his work with veterans and the Red Sox Foundation and because he is trusted by everyone who knows him. You won’t find a more popular person in the television industry.
“On the other hand, we would hate to lose him here. It would be a terrible loss, personally and professionally."
While Manfred, Selig's desired choice to succeed him as commissioner, had been considered the front-runner to win the owners' vote, Werner has emerged as a dark horse contender due to his impressive presentation to MLB's succession committee.
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After a largely brief tenure as owner of the San Diego Padres in the early 1990's, the television producer essentially stepped away from baseball until 2002, when he joined Henry and Larry Lucchino in buying the Red Sox.
A candidate needs 23 votes at Thursday's owners meeting to win the commissioner election.
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- Ben Estes