PARADISE VALLEY, Ariz. . - Major League Baseball owners gathered Wednesday for their annual January meeting in the desert with one big item on the agenda — honouring Bud Selig in his final gathering with them as commissioner.About 250 people were expected at a dinner in his honour Wednesday night, held in a huge tent set up on the grounds of The Sanctuary resort on the south slopes of Camelback Mountain. A series of speakers were lined up to praise Selig, who at age 80 will end his 22-plus years in charge of the game when he is succeeded by Rob Manfred on Jan. 25.Among those speaking was former Sen. George Mitchell, who at Seligs request headed the independent investigation into the use by players of performance-enhancing drugs.Seligs daughter, Wendy, also spoke and Hall of Famer Hank Aaron introduced the commissioner.Hes been great for our game in growing the game, said Joe Torre, the longtime player and manager who now works for Selig as executive vice-president of baseball operations, just for his love of the sport and his respect for the sport.New York Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said there are three main parts to the legacy of Selig, who will become commissioner emeritus.He wasnt a small-market guy, not a big-market guy, Steinbrenner said. He did what he thought was best for baseball. Sometime that went a particular owners way, and sometimes it went against a particular owner.Steinbrenner mentioned two of Seligs major accomplishments.I think the drug policies have come a long way under him, Steinbrenner said. We have one of the best in the business now. And I think another thing youve got to look at is, when you run a company that deals with a union and for 20 years you dont have a work stoppage, thats a significant accomplishment. And I think thats going to be a big part of his legacy, the relative labour peace that weve had.Selig walked through the resort from a meeting room on Tuesday but did not stop to talk to reporters.Torre said he was 16 years old when he first met Selig, who owned a car dealership and had provided a car for Torres older brother, Frank, who played at the time for the Milwaukee Braves. Joe Torre said he bought his first car from Seligs company in 1960.Selig became a part-owner of the Braves but sold his interest when the team moved to Atlanta.Probably the toughest time in our relationship was me as a young kid, at 24 and 25, Torre said, when we were moving to Atlanta and had to stay (in Milwaukee) for the 65 season.Selig, Torre said, was bitter and unhappy but through the years maintained a relationship with stars of that team.Then it was no surprise when the (Seattle) Pilots relocated there, because he was determined to do that.The Pilots were awarded to Selig and his investors in bankruptcy court just before the 1970 season and the team was renamed the Brewers.Selig was still the Brewers principal owner when he helped lead the group that forced Commissioner Fay Vincents resignation in 1992. Selig was voted chairman of the executive council, becoming baseballs top official, and repeatedly said he wouldnt become commissioner. When he was elected commissioner in 1998, he transferred control of the team to daughter Wendy Selig-Prieb. Seligs family sold the Brewers to Mark Attanasio in 2005.When Selig first took over MLB, Torre thought hed have an inside track with the boss.My first World Series in 96 we got rained out the first game, so it eliminated the day off, Torre said, recalling when he managed the Yankees against Atlanta. I remember we started on a Sunday and a Monday and then I called him. I said Its not fair we dont get a day off. ... He told me sorry. . Rooneys latest piece of football genius lost in the furore which now stalks David Moyes, and the man who gave the Manchester United striker his start as a 16-year old at Goodison Park back in 2002. . Hes had three top-10 results this season and feels ready to put it all together and finally hoist a trophy at the top level.VILLARREAL, Spain - Villarreal says it has reached the framework of a transfer deal to send Brazilian defender Gabriel Paulista to Arsenal.The Spanish club also says it will receive forward Joel Campbell on loan from Arsenal until the end of the season.It says on its club website: With a few details still to decide for the contract that will be formalized on Monday, Villarreal and Arsenal have rreached a deal to transfer Brazilian defender Gabriel Armando de Abreu. . .The 24-year-old centre back played 50 matches in a season and a half for Villarreal.Arsenal has been caught short defensively this season because of injuries, and Paulista will provide cover - and competition - for Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker, the only genuine centre backs in the squad. ' ' '