Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Nl's White `Ousted' by Selig Coup

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Nl's White `Ousted' by Selig Coup

Article excerpt

It wasn't exactly a bloodless coup that Bud Selig, Jerry Reinsdorf & Co. pulled off at the baseball owners meetings in Florida last week.

Bill White was going anyway. But the series of events engineered by the "Chicago-Milwaukee Mafia," which forever changed the face of baseball, sickened White to the point he's leaving the National League presidency now.

White last March announced plans to leave office, but had agreed to stay on indefinitely until a search committee could come up with a successor.

The longer he waited, though, the more he saw how baseball's search committees operate. Specifically, he saw the sham that was the 16-month "search" for a new commissioner.

"I'm on the restructuring committee, and I was asked to stay on until a new commissioner was named," White said. "I thought that was our goal - to get a new commissioner as soon as possible."

In addition, White saw what the new world order of owners wanted to do to the league presidencies: Emasculate them. As part of the restructuring of the commissioner's office, the commissioner will have the power to hire and fire league presidents.

Does that mean Milwaukee Brewers owner Selig, an American Leaguer who insists he doesn't want to be commissioner but continues to stay on the job "for the good of baseball," will make the call on the NL president?

"You'll have to ask Bud Selig and the people who are running baseball now," White said.

Before the final vote on restructuring was taken in Fort Lauderdale, White attempted to insert a clause that would have preserved, or at least spelled out, the league presidents' powers.

Needing a simple majority, the measure was defeated 14-14, with nine NL owners voting against it. The majority of National League small-market teams (Pittsburgh Pirates, Montreal Expos, San Diego Padres, Cincinnati Reds, Houston Astros) that support Selig decided to vote in a bloc. …

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