Mitchell to get offer, owner says

April 14, 1994|By Knight-Ridder News Service

Sen. George Mitchell, the Maine Democrat who on Tuesday asked President Clinton not to nominate him to the Supreme Court, will be offered the job of baseball commissioner, a team owner said yesterday.

"It's 100 percent up to him," said Harold Alfond, an owner of the Boston Red Sox. "[The owners] have been waiting for him for two years."

Philadelphia Phillies president Bill Giles was slightly more restrained. "I hope that we offer him the job, and I hope that he takes it," Giles said last night.

Giles said that Mitchell, 60, would not be interested in taking the job until a new labor agreement with the players was reached.

That is unlikely to happen before September, and Mitchell's term in the Senate does not expire until January.

Alfond -- the former owner of the Dexter Shoe Co. and, like nTC Mitchell, a native of Waterville, Maine -- said Mitchell will take the position if he is satisfied that baseball's owners would allow him truly to preside over the game.

"They've got to assure him that he will be the boss, not just a front man," Alfond said from his winter home in Palm Beach, Fla.

Such assurances may be hard to secure. The last commissioner, Fay Vincent, was forced to resign in September 1992 by owners who did not want a commissioner they thought was contrary.

In addition to the Red Sox, Mitchell is said to have particularly strong support from Bud Selig of the Milwaukee Brewers, Jerry Reinsdorf of the Chicago White Sox, American League president Bobby Brown and former commissioner Peter Ueberroth.

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