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Report: Selig to retire after 2012

Nov 28, 2009, 9:14 AM EDT

He has presided over realignment,
revenue sharing, continued expansion, changes to the All-Star game,
instant replay, Interleague play, the Wild Card, the World Baseball
Classic, unprecedented labor peace, and of course, steroids and the
Mitchell Report, among other things. Not bad for someone who wore the
title of acting commissioner from 1992 to 1996.

But according to Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune, Bud Selig will step aside as commissioner after his current contract expires following the 2012 season. Appropriately enough, the next labor agreement expires in December of 2011.

The decision doesn’t come as much of
a surprise if you remember that Selig announced his plans to retire
once before, only to have his contract extended for three more years.
However the 75-year-old Selig still has other plans outside baseball
that he’d like to pursue, namely writing a book and, yes, teaching history.

Rogers speculates on some potential
replacements for the top spot, ranging from top lieutenants Bob DuPuy
and Rob Manfred to popular executives like Andy MacPhail of the
Orioles. MacPhail is the son of former American League President Lee
MacPhail and the grandson of Larry MacPhail, who served as chief
executive to the Reds, Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers. Both are in the
Hall of Fame. MacPhail is held in high regard among major league owners.

For someone in their late-20s, it’s
almost hard to remember baseball without Selig as its commissioner. For
all the grief he’s taken, and many times rightfully so, Selig has
introduced radical and sweeping changes to our game. Some went along
kicking and screaming at the time, but it’s difficult to argue that we
aren’t better off with realignment and the expanded playoffs that along came
with it.

This isn’t to say that the game is perfect. Some (including
Mike Scioscia) would like the playoffs to move at a more natural pace
and I’m sure it will happen. Revenue sharing has flaws of its own that must be addressed in the coming seasons. To his credit, I’ve found Selig to be a reasoned and
prudent steward of the game, and I expect nothing less until his
contract expires. That said, I look forward to seeing how the next commissioner can build upon Selig’s accomplishments.

  1. cmadshep - Nov 28, 2009 at 10:24 AM

    The steroid king, and the inventor of tie games in baseball, his retirement is long, long, overdue.

  2. Big G - Nov 28, 2009 at 10:57 AM

    He should be fired for ruining the game. This guy got paid 17 million last year for what. Over seeing the steroid problem, the fake home run chase & best thing he did. Determine who gets home field advantage for the World Series by the winner of a fan based all star game. Now that is quite the achievement. Might be his crowning glory.

  3. Bob - Nov 28, 2009 at 11:57 AM

    Wonder if Pete Rose can live long enough for the new commissioner to rule him eligible for Cooperstown.

  4. John D - Nov 28, 2009 at 12:05 PM

    I sure hope so. Pete Rose deserves to be in the Hall of Fame without a doubt.

  5. Mike - Nov 28, 2009 at 12:06 PM

    These are some dumb comments. Under Selig the game has enjoyed more revenue than ever, and this was after a strike that sent many fans packing. A strike due to the greedy players.

  6. Jack - Nov 28, 2009 at 12:10 PM

    Selig has lied his way into immortality and presided over the destruction of all semblance of integrity in the game. Shame on him. He’s been a disgrace to the game.

  7. Old Gator - Nov 28, 2009 at 12:21 PM

    We still seem to expect our commissioners to live up to the ideologically constipated standards of Mountain Landis. The Landis hiring, which was meant to restore the integrity of the game, set the horizon of expectation for every commissioner through Faye Vincent, but Selig wasn’t hired to perpetuate that horizon. He was hired to worry about the interests of the owners rather than the interests of the game per se. Just ask the voters in Milwaukee who went to the polls to shoot down a new stadium for the Used Car King and got one shoved down their throats anyway. If you were an owner you could hardly argue that he served his purpose. That’s why revenue is up and integrity is in traction, and that’s why the next commissioner will either be another owner or front office droid. If you were hoping for the next Bart Giamatti or maybe George Will, forget it.

  8. Wombat-socho - Nov 28, 2009 at 12:41 PM

    Don’t kid yourself. For all his dubious Ivy League charms, Giamatti was just as big a tool of the owners as Selig…and in an ideal world, Selig never would have been more than the owner of a second-division AL West team.
    “And while the politicians sneered and slanged/I wept/For I had longed to see him hanged.”

  9. Spice - Nov 28, 2009 at 1:40 PM

    Ok, I really don’t like Selig as commissioner but I really have never understood the “outrage” over the tie game in the all-star game.
    Both teams were out of pitchers and bench players. If your teams pitcher had been forced to carry the game and hurt his arm and was lost to your team for the rest of the season you would complain that they should have ended the game.
    It is an exhibition game. No more meaningful (before they went and tied it to the WS) than a spring training game. The original intent of the game was and still is to raise money for the pension fund.
    Why would you care if it ended in a tie?
    There has never been a good commissioner. Giamatti might have been but he died to early to tell.
    Judge Landis was a racist that made certain the color barrier was not broken in his life time. It is sinful that the MVP award is named for him.
    Pete Rose does not belong in the hall of fame. He bet on baseball games he was managing. If you are not smart enough to understand why that is worse than taking steroids then I can not help you, you need medical help I can not give you.
    While I think Selig is a dingbat you can not argue about the success of the game under his tenure. Attendance up, revenue up.

  10. Old Gator - Nov 28, 2009 at 2:10 PM

    As someone who knew Bart Giamatti – not well, mind you, but well enough to get a pretty strong impression of the man – when he was a professor of literature even before he was running Yale University, I can assure you that he was nobody’s tool. Not the owners, not the trustees of Yale, not the Modern Language Association’s, n-o-b-o-d-i-e-s. I wish I could say the same for his relationship to nicotine, though, or he’d probably still be with us. Anyone who has bothered to read the essays in his sublime Take Time for Paradise would probably have known better than to make such an apocryphal accusation in the first place. I don’t think I’ve ever come across anyone with a more resonant love of the game of baseball, and for homo ludens, humanity as a lover of games, as well.

  11. Old Gator - Nov 28, 2009 at 2:16 PM

    And Pete Rose wouldn’t have lasted ten seconds under Landis, either. But Giamatti’s sense of integrity – which was profound – dictated that he give Rose every fair and legal opportunity to establish his innocence. When he failed to do so, Giamatti did what he had to do – again, not out of vindictiveness against Rose, but to protect the integrity of the game. Contrast that with Selig’s corrupt and cowardly silence about the chemical plague he clearly knew was infecting the game about as well as he knew that the performance enhancements they were causing were making the cash registers clang. So in a sense you’re right – you can’t ignore the increases in attendance and revenue. They’re both testimony to his culpability in permitting and coddling the game’s age of steroids.

  12. Brian - Nov 28, 2009 at 2:39 PM

    Baseball has two huge problems right now. One is player greed. The other is the horrible umps. How is Selig going to fix those problems? I’d say this past postseason proved to the world that the umps stink and that didn’t even get into how bad their strikezones are.

  13. Spice - Nov 28, 2009 at 2:44 PM

    Again, not defending Selig at all, I really dislike him as a commissioner. One cannot lump steroids and other PED’s in the same class as betting on the game.

  14. Spice - Nov 28, 2009 at 2:47 PM

    Let me ask you this: if you were one of maybe 1000 people in the world that could do your job and if your employers had the revenue stream to pay you millions of dollars to do that job would you turn down that money?

  15. WallaceN - Nov 28, 2009 at 4:45 PM

    Bud-Lite, good riddance. The days of a “commissioner” that isn’t an owner, or hack for the owners, is over. The replacement will be bought and paid for by the owners. Hopefully they get what they deserve; a strike, lose of interest by the next generation, and due to their own greed, a complete financial bust in trying to get people to PAY to watch a game on TV. I used to “need” baseball. Not anymore.

  16. Steve S. - Nov 28, 2009 at 5:12 PM

    I agree with WallaceN. The game is all about money. Most fans, if you look at all 30 teams is pretty void of good players! Many should be in the minor league system, unfortunately brought up way too early because spots must be filled. There’s very little in the way of fine talent, folks. What the new Commissioner must do is somehow find a way to simply not allow the few teams such as the Yankees to simply buy up whatever few great players are out there. The salaries are simply way beyond reason. Perhaps the fans’ refusal to not “need” baseball as WallaceN stated above should be echoed much more. Stay home and don’t buy tickets! Let MLB know that it won’t be tolerated. We just go to 1 game a year now, simply boring.

  17. Edward Lugo - Nov 28, 2009 at 6:34 PM

    I hope the League can appoint someone who is actually independent from Baseball. Selig being a former owner of the Brewers no doubt affected his choices and made him bias towards the owners.

  18. Lee Daniels - Nov 28, 2009 at 7:03 PM

    Pete Rose does not and should never be in the HOF

  19. nresq - Nov 28, 2009 at 9:22 PM

    Back in the day, the commissioner of Major League Baseball had one overriding mission: To look out for and ensure the best interests of the game. The commissioner was nominally supposed to be INDEPENDENT of the owners; this was the deal worked out with Congress for MLB to get its infamous anti-trust exemption (and hence render the players indentured servants for almost 75 years through the dreaded Reserve Clause). Anybody remember any of this?
    Then, in 1992, the owners appointed a fellow OWNER, Selig, as “Acting Commissioner” to replace the last truly independent commissioner, Faye Vincent, because he was acting too, well, independent. The conflict of interest was blatant, but Bud’s mission was clear: Hold the line and force the last great work stoppage, including the first cancellation of the World Series in history for a non-war related reason.
    This almost wrecked the game, but baseball recovered through the unholy alliance of owners and players and the use of PED’s. The owners looked the other way because the public liked offensive stats; the players (most, anyway) used because a few more HR’s or RBI’s meant millions more per year in salary.
    Presiding over it all, one Bud Selig. In true MLB fashion, Selig will certainly be voted into the HOF, and perhaps have a trophy named after him (to the small market team with the highest revenues and lowest player payroll?).
    Today, the game is what it is because, since 1992, no one has been looking out for the best interests of the GAME.
    MLB, RIP

  20. DB - Nov 28, 2009 at 9:45 PM

    First off, Selig turned his back on the whole steroid issue LONG after it was an issue. Lyle Alzadeo, who spent his last years talking about how steroids destroyed his body, died in 1992!!! McGuire and Bonds didn’t do anything that Reggie Jackson didn’t do (oh yeah, Reggie bulked up on steroids years ago). Selig should have been celebrating the stars of the game, instead of the despicable way he treated Bonds. He dithered over what to do about steroids while looking down on those he suspected of using steroids. Long ago, he should have instituted a zero tolerance policy, and then maybe A-Rod, Palmeiro and Rocket wouldn’t have used them either.
    Second, if you’re going to create eligibility rules after the fact, then you’d have to remove guys like Gaylord Perry who flaunted the way he cheated. Even wrote a book about it while he was still a player.
    Third, by any measure of anybody who’s ever played the game of baseball, Pete Rose has Hall Of Fame statistics (most hits 4,256; most games played 3,562, most at bats 14,053, and on and on). His gambling illness was no worse than Mickey Mantle’s alcoholism. Both are serious medical conditions. But the fact is that Pete’s records were well in the book long before he was a player manager. There is absolutely no question that as a player for the Reds and the Phils, Pete played to win. What he did as a manager was wrong. Most people inside baseball say Pete deserves to be in the HOF, but don’t allow him a role in baseball.

  21. scot - Nov 28, 2009 at 9:54 PM

    Why wait Bud? Just go now because you are terrible at your job.
    I think Pete Rose deserves to be in Hall of Fame. I don’t blane the players for trying to get as much money as they can but its getting harder to justify paying the high ticket price to see a live game…….better just to stay at home and watch it on tv.

  22. nresq - Nov 28, 2009 at 10:06 PM

    Selig isn’t terrible at his job; he’s good at doing the owners (especially small markets) bidding. Its that he’s terrible for the GAME. I would also say “Go” now but his replacement isn’t going to be any better.

  23. Scott - Nov 28, 2009 at 10:37 PM

    He turned a blind eye to overt steroid use and has allowed the players union to run the game. Good riddance to this buffoon.

  24. fred117 - Nov 28, 2009 at 10:48 PM

    Goodbye, Bud. Hello, George W Bush.

  25. Jack Meoffer - Nov 28, 2009 at 10:48 PM

    Just remember how Selig wanted to do away with the American and National leagues and replace them with 5 divisions. That idea was shot down pretty fast. He only cared about money and nothing else. He will always be looked at as the steroids commissioner and nothing else.

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