The Guest Who Wouldn’t Leave

In 1992, Bud Selig helped engineer the ouster of Fay Vincent, and then took his place on an interim basis as “Acting Commissioner.” He lost the Acting tag in 1998, and despite a series of promises that to give up the office, Bud Selig remains. Yesterday, MLB’s owners unanimously voted to extend his term for 3 years, through 2012. They appreciate the growth in business during his tenure, the wild card system, all those publicly financed new stadiums. Critics lament labor strife, a head-in-the-sand attitude toward PEDs, unfriendly media contracts, a Rovian relationship with truth, and various other ills. (A tie All Star Game? Seriously?) Bowie Kuhn, a predecessor with a similarly mixed/deplorable legacy was recently elected to the HOF. Expect Bud to get there as well, and probably before Bert Blyleven. Marvin Miller? It’s not looking good.

8 comments… add one
  • I dislike many things about Selig, but baseball is doing better, as a business, than ever before. McGwire and Sosa–and, a few years later, Barry Bonds–are largely responsible for bringing baseball back to the forefront of American sports, despite the accusations surrounding them. If I had to choose between cracking down on something that might become a problem, and letting baseball flourish, I don’t know what decision I would have made. I mean honestly: how many of us were upset about steroids back in the mid-to-late 90’s? I for one was giddy that we had had several seasons in a row without strikes.

    Atheose January 18, 2008, 9:15 am
  • Giving Selig an extension 2 days after his testimony in front of congress is a slap in the face to fans of baseball. They are essentially awarding him directly for “steering” baseball though a crisis that he was explicitly complicit in creating and propagating. The timing of this extension is the biggest issue for me. This extension could have been given mid-season or months ago. The owners are rewarding Selig for his actions concerning PEDs or more importantly raising their bottom lines…

    sam-YF January 18, 2008, 10:10 am
  • I don’t know who would be a better candidate, but I know Bud Selig has done nothing that requires an extension other then making the owners a ton of money. Baseball has really grown while he has been commisioner, but really how much of that is his doing? Maybe it was the tie all star game that brought in all the fans. Honestly and truly not a Selig fan.

    John - YF January 18, 2008, 11:02 am
  • There is one reason, and one reason only, for Bud’s latest contract.
    Revenues have grown from something in the neighborhood of $2 Billion, to something north of $6 Billion. Argue all you want about Bud’s actual contributions, but he is basically the Michael Eisner of the sport.

    VicSF January 18, 2008, 11:06 am
  • Let us never forget that Selig is an owner doing a very good job of making the other owners money. And with this 50 million, 3 year extension, he’s not doing too bad himself.

    YF in RSN January 18, 2008, 11:09 am
  • “explicitly complicit”
    That makes me smile.
    I’ve never been a Selig fan, and rewarding him like this after yet another display of his chronic duplicity is mind-boggling.
    Selig gets (and takes) a lot of credit for realignment and the Wold Card — ideas that came from a committee headed by John Harrington.

    Paul SF January 18, 2008, 11:21 am
  • *ahem* Wild Card…

    Paul SF January 18, 2008, 11:28 am
  • I really, really dislike Selig, but he has two unqualified positives during his tenure: The Wild Card system, and the labor negotiations in 2002, when he, the owners, and his team avoided a potentially disastrous strike (was also the first time since 1970 the labor negotiations didn’t lead to a work stoppage). I haven’t seen anybody mention the latter recently, which is kind of surprising.
    The revenue is great, but I’m doubtful he should receive even a little of the credit for that.
    The biggest negtives: Steroid Era up through the Mitchell Report, which was terribly mishandled from beggining to now, and no end in sight; The contraction scandal (which was such a disgrace that he would have resigned if he had any shame at all); and everything he let Jeffrey Loria get away with surrounding the Expos-Nationals/Marlins deal.

    Mark (YF) January 18, 2008, 12:06 pm

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