Thursday, January 17, 2008

We're Stuck With Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig For Another 3 Years

Bud Selig was given a three-year extension as baseball commissioner through the 2012 season.

Bud Selig

Retirement will have to wait now that 73-year-old Bud Selig has committed to another three years as baseball's commissioner.

The unanimous decision made at Thursday's owners' meeting came two days after Selig and union head Donald Fehr testified before a congressional committee that both criticized baseball for its steroids problem and praised it for strides made the past two years.

Selig will become baseball's second-longest-serving leader behind Kenesaw Mountain Landis, who was the first commissioner from 1920-44. Selig had said repeatedly since December 2006 that he intended to retire after the 2009 season, but many in baseball didn't believe him.

He became acting commissioner in September 1992, when clubs forced out Fay Vincent. After saying he wouldn't take the job, Selig was elected to a five-year term as permanent commissioner in 1998 and gave up running the Milwaukee Brewers, the team he bought in 1970 and his family sold in 2005.

Owners voted in November 2001 to extend his term through 2006, then voted in August 2004 to extend it through 2009. He will be 78 by the end of the latest extension.

Selig received $14.5 million in the 12 months ending Oct. 31, 2005, according to Major League Baseball's last available tax return.

The 73-year-old Selig has been commissioner through some of baseball's greatest peaks -- spikes in fan attendance and revenues now touching $5 billion -- and valleys -- the 1994 players' strike and now the steroids era.

I can't speak for Selig, but I can imagine why he accepted this extension, especially in the middle of this steroid controversy. He wants to be the guy to save baseball and become a hero. How would it look if Selig decided to step down and not except the extension when heat, debate, and investigations involving him are currently taking place? He HAD to accept.

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