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New Commissioner Rob Manfred Reorganizes MLB Central Offices

The new commissioner doesn't take office for another month, but he is already putting his stamp on Major League Baseball.

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Bud Selig isn't completely out the door yet as Commissioner of Major League Baseball. That won't happen until January 24, 2015, when Rob Manfred officially takes office. Thursday, it was announced that Manfred was reorganizing MLB's Central Offices, with shifts in a number of executive positions and titles. Manfred said: “This accomplished group has extensive experience working for Major League Baseball and shares my enthusiasm for our game's future and the many exciting opportunities ahead. I look forward to working with these experts in their fields, all of whom are well acquainted with the landscape of our sport. I believe that their new roles will greatly benefit the game's long-term initiatives. “I thank Commissioner Selig for his guidance during the transition process. His legacy of labor peace, competitive balance and innovation has given us an outstanding foundation on which we can build. Collectively, the goals of the staff throughout our entire organization will focus on making the sport better for fans, growing the game for future generations and serving the 30 Clubs with excellence.”

Recently, it was announced that Tim Brosnan, who had been MLB's executive vice-president for business and had been placed in nomination for Commissioner by hard-line owners including Jerry Reinsdorf, was leaving MLB and his position was being absorbed into one held by Bob Bowman, who had been head of MLB Advanced Media. Here's what Bowman and other MLB executives will be doing under Manfred:

BOB BOWMAN, President & CEO of MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM) since its founding in 2000, will serve as MLB's President, Business & Media. He will now direct revenue-generating and media rights activities across all MLB entities. Bowman will continue to guide MLBAM and also will have oversight of MLB Network.

PAT COURTNEY, MLB’s Senior Vice President for Public Relations, will be Chief Communications Officer. Courtney joined MLB in 1992 and has served as chief spokesman and head of media relations since 2010.

DAN HALEM, Executive Vice President for Labor Relations, will be MLB's Chief Legal Officer. Halem joined MLB in 2007 as Senior Vice President & General Counsel before being promoted to his current role last December. Halem plays a key role in all collective bargaining issues and directs industry initiatives such as the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program and the revenue sharing program.

JONATHAN MARINER, currently Executive Vice President, Finance & Chief Financial Officer, will become MLB’s Chief Investment Officer. In his current role for the Commissioner’s Office, the former Florida Marlins EVP & CFO has overseen duties related to budgeting, financial reporting and treasury and risk management activities. As Chief Investment Officer, Mariner will help manage the industry’s Baseball Endowment, L.P. (“BELP”) fund, its pension assets and potential new strategic investments.

TONY PETITTI, President & CEO of MLB Network since its 2008 inception and its 2009 launch, will fill the role of MLB’s COO. Petitti will oversee numerous functions of the Commissioner's Office, and his decades of media experience will be relied upon as it relates to MLB’s content.

BOB STARKEY, of Starkey Sports Consulting, will become MLB’s Chief Financial Officer & Senior Advisor. Since 1991, Starkey has advised MLB on industry economic matters, such as its debt-service rule, revenue sharing system and other aspects of collective bargaining. Starkey has consulted with various professional sports franchises and has worked on several new stadium projects, including all aspects of the development of Target Field in his hometown of Minneapolis.

JOE TORRE, Executive Vice President for Baseball Operations since 2011, will be MLB's Chief Baseball Officer. The Hall of Famer will continue to serve as MLB’s primary liaison to the general managers, field managers and the Major League Umpires regarding all on-field matters.

You'll likely become quite familiar with many of these men, if you aren't already, as baseball moves forward, and particularly so during the labor negotiations with the MLBPA, which will happen following (or perhaps during, if they'd like to make an early deal and avoid a stoppage) the 2016 season. Manfred, who was right-hand man to Selig during many of the recent agreements, will be assisted by Halem. I hope the change in leadership of MLB Network doesn't mean major changes for that channel, which has been very well-run since its inception. Bowman, who has had responsibility for the MLB At Bat app, among other things, isn't likely to make too many shifts at the league's flagship channel.

It's clear that MLB will be run differently under Manfred than it has been under Selig. That has to be a good thing. I hope Manfred has chosen wisely, as baseball has many challenges going forward.