Thursday, January 17, 2008

Three More Years of Selig

Bud Selig has agreed to stay on as Commissioner for three more years:

Riding the crest of unprecedented financial success and an impressive performance before Congress Tuesday, Bud Selig agreed to stay on as Major League Baseball's commissioner for three more years.

Selig, 73, agreed to continue his reign just two days after he appeared at a Congressional hearing on the Mitchell Report on steroids, a report authored by former Sen. George Mitchell at Selig's behest.

Selig left Washington Tuesday night for the MLB owners' meetings in Phoenix, where the owners asked him to stay on until 2012.

This is the sort of thing that will make many purists and hardcore fans angry. After all, it was Selig who presided over a season without a World Series, introduced the wild card and interleague play, and had his head in the sand as PEDs seeped into the game. Nevertheless, keeping Bud on is a totally understandable and even defensible thing.

Yes, we can talk about the opportunity costs of some of his decisions. Yes, we can discuss the bad faith with which he has appeared to approach many of his duties. Yes, we can speculate about the ideal outcomes that were not realized. But when we're done talking about all of those things we have to concede that Bud Selig has delivered on his primary duty, and that is to make money for the owners and grow the game. That's it. That's his job, and he has done it startlingly well.

Should that be the Commissioner's primary duty? Well, that's something we can talk about too, but for now it is.

1 comment:

Jason said...

For all the negativity that surrounds Selig, he's really presided over an incredibly strong run for MLB. He's increased revenues 6-fold, added the Wild Card, interleague, Revenue sharing, Luxury tax. And think how the last two have totally changed things for the mid-market teams, being able to afford to keep their youngsters to longer term contracts (Peavy is a recent example). The wild card has been a tremendous success.

Yes, he's over-expanded, botched the contraction, and most importantly, he has been in charge during the Steroid Era. He could have and should have done more.

But, when history remembers him, I think it will be a pretty favorable view. That view might not take shape tomorrow, but down the road.