Commissioner Bud Selig will retire after the 2014 season, and MLB will soon establish a transition plan for his exit. Selig has put off retirement a number of times before, but this announcement comes straight from Selig and MLB. So, it’s happening.
Selig, 79, has led baseball through one of his most prosperous and strife-free periods in the sport’s professional existence. He became the acting commissioner in 1992, before getting the official designation in 1998.
Say what you will about some of his decisions (All-Star Game deciding home-field advantage? Seriously?), but the man has been a laudable success by professional sport commissioner standards. He was also relatively progressive in a sport that has been historically anything but. He also made for great photoshops.
In the announcement of Selig’s retirement, he mentioned that the upcoming transition plan “will reorganize centralized Major League Baseball management,” which is an odd thing to include in a statement without any additional context. Are we going to see something other than a traditional “commissioner”? Maybe just for the transition period?
Whoever takes over for Selig will have considerable shoes to fill. It can’t be easy managing the interests of such a diverse group of teams, cities, and owners, and Selig has handled it with aplomb.
To the new chief, when he or she is named, let me say just one thing:
Bring the designated hitter to the National League.