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Attanasio responds to Commissioner talk

Reports list Brewers owner as a candidate to succeed Selig

MILWAUKEE -- Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio on Monday chuckled at the notion he is a candidate to take over as Major League Baseball Commissioner after Allan H. "Bud" Selig's planned retirement in January.

USA Today listed Attanasio's name among five "possible candidates" for the job in a companion piece to an interview with Selig last week. A few days earlier, Sports Business Journal also included Attanasio among potential fits for the job.

"I didn't know what to think until I got about 20 emails and text messages on Friday," Attanasio told reporters Monday on Opening Day at sold-out Miller Park. "That would be down the road. By the way, I'm still in the group that's trying to get Commissioner Selig to extend his Commissionership. He'll be here today. But I think he's been pretty consistent in saying that he's going to move on.

"We'll see where that process goes. Again, my focus and passion is on owning and running the team here and getting back to the playoffs."

Selig met reporters during the Brewers' 2-0 win over the Braves and confirmed Attanasio's effort to convince him to stay.

"I know; he and a few others," Selig said. "But I meant what I said last October, and that's going to hold."

The process of selecting the next Commissioner, Selig said, "will be a quiet, thoughtful process, and a sensitive process. Remember, I have a lot of experience. I was chairman of the Commissioner Search Committee in '83, which eventually chose Peter Ueberroth. So I've done that job, too. I just don't want to comment much, other than it will be a fair process, a comprehensive process, a thorough process."

Attanasio agreed to buy the Brewers from the Selig family in September 2004 and was approved by MLB's other owners the following January. The Brewers are entering the 10th season of Attanasio's tenure, which has seen two postseason appearances, including a club-record 96-win regular season in 2011, and three years of better than 3 million in attendance.

In addition to running his asset-management firm and overseeing the Brewers' operations, Attanasio serves on MLB's ownership, labor policy, finance, money management and diversity committees.

"Any conversations [between me and Selig] about the Commissionership have been me calling him and asking him to stay on," Attanasio said. "They go back to the last time [Selig had planned to retire], when we got him to extend."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy.
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