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Hey guys, Bud Selig says he’s gonna retire after 2014

Aug 1, 2012, 11:32 AM EDT

Bud Selig Reuters

I’ve been asked before why I often suggest that Bud Selig is disingenuous about things like, say, the fans’ appetite for instant replay, the status of the committee working feverishly on solving the Athletics/San Jose problem and the state of baseball’s finances and stuff.

At bottom, it’s a general credibility problem. Caused by stuff like this:

Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig insists he will retire after the 2014 season when his contract ends … He said “nobody believes it” but he’ll be done in 2 years, despite sentiment he’ll stay until 2016 to pass Kenesaw Mountain Landis as the game’s longest-serving boss.

It’s his right to keep the job as long as his employers will have him. And, despite our dissatisfaction with the way he handles some things, I would argue that he has been an excellent commissioner overall. At least when measured by his performance at the job he was hired to do as opposed to do the job that fans like to fantasize the commissioner has.*

But really, this marks the 3,405,265th time Selig has claimed he will retire.  I wish him no ill will whatsoever when I say this — indeed, I intend it as a tribute to his effectiveness in the job, popularity within the game and his still-sharp skills and tenacity — but if I had to bet my 401K on any future development, “Bud Selig dying in office” would be high on the list of candidates.

*Really. It’s not the commissioner’s job to be some sage and noble George Washington figure. It’s his job to be a steward and promoter of the game who makes money for the owners (and indirectly the players) and keeps them from fighting with one another. But even with the job being that basic, so many have failed one way or another.  Fay Vincent was well-intentioned but feckless. Peter Ueberroth hatched a criminal conspiracy. Bart Giamatti, sadly, didn’t get a chance to really do anything. Bowie Kuhn was a retrograde defender of the reserve clause and helped sow nearly 30 years of labor strife.  It’s a low bar to hurdle when it comes to running baseball, but Selig has really cleared it by any measure.

  1. Old Gator - Aug 1, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    He says that he will never retire. He drools in shadow and he drools in light and he is a great favorite of the owners, the Commissioner. He makes a witless pronouncement, and then dully and clumsily he makes another witless pronouncement. And he is drooling, drooling. He says that he will never retire.

    • Gamera the Brave - Aug 1, 2012 at 3:09 PM

      My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings!
      Behold my works, ye mighty, and despair!
      Nothing else remains…

  2. sparty0n - Aug 1, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    Can Hardballtalk start a countdown clock until his contract expires?

  3. rcali - Aug 1, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    Christmas in August! Although it would be better if he just walked away yesterday.

  4. DJ MC - Aug 1, 2012 at 5:04 PM

    We all really need to be honest here. No matter what I did or how many fans I knew hated me, if I had the job of commissioner of baseball you would have to carry me out of 245 Park Avenue covered by a sheet. The same goes for everyone here.

  5. mojosmagic - Aug 1, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    Twenty years to late.

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