Owners will vote on Bud Selig's extension
The vote will take place in Philadelphia on Aug. 19.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Baseball owners will be asked to approve a three-year extension for commissioner Bud Selig that will run through 2009, The Associated Press learned.
The extension will be presented for a vote when owners meet in Philadelphia on Aug. 19, a high-ranking baseball official said on the condition of anonymity.
Approval of the extension appears certain and could be unanimous.
In other business, owners will be asked to approve plans for a baseball World Cup and a baseball television network, the official said.
The start of the World Cup almost certainly will be pushed back to 2006, several baseball officials said.
Selig, who turned 70 on July 30, became acting commissioner in September 1992 after he helped lead a revolt that forced Fay Vincent's resignation.
Got an extension
Selig was elected to a five-year term in July 1998, then in November 2001 was given an extension through Dec. 31, 2006 -- 12 days after baseball's labor contract expires.
Reached at his Milwaukee office, Selig declined comment.
Selig had said in the past that he intended to leave at the end of his current term, telling the Associated Press Sports Editors in April 2003: "I think that will be enough.
"There's no question, because there are other things I really would like to do."
He hinted at a change in his stance during the All-Star game, saying his time in office has "at least 21/2 (years) and maybe more to go."
Under Selig, baseball expanded from 28 teams to 30, doubled the teams in the playoffs to eight, switched from two divisions to three in each league and negotiated its first labor contract without a work stoppage since 1970.
The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday that owners were likely to discuss an extension at the meeting.
Approval of the World Cup tournament, which would involve 16 teams, also appears certain. Bob DuPuy, baseball's chief operating officer, met Tuesday with Japanese and South Korean baseball officials, who have been skeptical about the proposal to have major league baseball and its players' association run the event.
While the Japanese baseball commissioner left during the meeting, saying he had another meeting to attend, progress was made, several officials said on the condition of anonymity. At the meeting, major league officials said start the tournament would be delayed one year to 2006.
Japanese owners probably will vote on the plan in September or November, one official said, and an announcement launching the tournament could take place during the major league all-star tour of Japan, which runs from Nov. 5-14.
The baseball network would follow moves by the NBA and the NFL, which have also established their own channels.
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