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emperor seligCommissioner 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.

(*ducks*)

  • DarthHater

    “The upcoming transition plan will reorganize centralized management” sounds like something Vladimir Putin would say.

    • Ron

      Or something from 1984…the book.

  • King Jeff

    [img]http://thelaymansanswerstoeverything.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/6VaderKillsEmperor.jpg[/img]

  • MightyBear

    Selig also presided over the steroid era and did nothing until baseball got hauled up before congress and the legislature threatened to take away their antitrust exemption. It also went from America’s past time to the third most popular sport in the United States. Yeah, he was good.

    • Pat

      From a business standpoint, the steroid era was wildly successful. And they managed to keep most of the attendance gains when it was over. Football was already number one when he took over, and while baseball may have had a lead on basketball at the time (not sure this is the case) you were heading into the height of the Jordan era, which would have pushed them ahead regardless of who was commissioner.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Yeah, baseball hasn’t been America’s pasttime since the early 1970’s. (If the NFL hadn’t been idiots about playing immediately after Kennedy was shot, then football would have overtaken baseball in the mid-1960’s even.)

        Has basketball really overtaken baseball? I don’t think that the championship series does not get the TV ratings that the World Series does. I’m not sure how attendances compare.

        As for steroids, they obviously were common going back to the 1980’s.

  • MightyBear

    Here’s my note to the new commissioner. Declare the DH a failed experiment and get rid of it in the AL. Tell the union to go F#$% themselves.

    • annie

      Fck no! What will we do with Vogalbach then?

      • Scotti

        1B.

    • Drew7

      How has it been a failed experiment?

    • cooter

      Good call! That’s 1/4 of baseball. Having to pinch hit and take out pitchers that are on fire for that day. DOWN WITH DH.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Hmmm, calling something that has been successful for 40 years a failed experiment reads like the simultaneous misuse of the words “failed” and “experiment”!

    • CubsFanSaxMan

      I’m with you Bear.

    • Blublud

      I agree 100%. The DH might be the dumbest position in all of sports.

      • C. Steadman

        it either has to be all DH or no-DH across the MLB I think

        • Blublud

          I do also. Get rid of it. I can’t think of any thing about the league that I hate more.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Actually, the opposite is true: no other sport has anything equivalent to a pitcher batting. Barring very unusual circumstances, no other professional athletes have to do things that have nothing to do with the athletic tools that got them to the pros.

        • hansman1982

          Ummm, ever seen a kicker try to tackle the returner?

          • Blublud

            Another good point.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

            “Barring very unusual circumstances”

            The kick returner rarely gets to the kicker.

            • hansman1982

              I know. However, a kicker tackling the returner is akin to the pitcher batting. And should happen as frequently.

              • JoeyCollins

                twice a season?

                • hansman1982

                  Yes, just for comedic relief during a particularly boring Red Sox/Yankees game.

                  • Blublud

                    This is another reason why I hate the DH. I hate everything about the AL. Their games are boring, last for 4 hours, pitcher are let off the hook and the games are boring. Did I mention the games are boring.

                    • Jimmy James

                      I’m with you….too much stategery taken out of the game…..do you even need a bench in the al ;)

          • DocPeterWimsey

            That’s a pretty unusual circumstance, though, isn’t it? Similarly, you occasionally see the kicker pretend to be a quarterback on a blown hike. Sometimes a hockey defenceman pretend to be a goalie if the goalie was pulled late in a game.

            The big difference is that in those sports, these things are not in the job description: it’s more or less a big hoot and giggle when it happens, like a position player pitching, or like a pitcher batting *should* be.

            • Blublud

              A pitcher is a position player. His position I’d pitcher. If pitchers are not supposed to hit, then I need Justin Verlander to return his MVP award. He should have only won the Cy Young.

              SN: I know he won it in the AL without needing to hit.

              • hansman1982

                And a pitcher provides as much value (without hitting) as a positional player does.

        • Blublud

          I suppose you have never seen Dwight Howard shoot a freethrow.

          • hansman1982

            How basketball players are not good free throw shooters will forever boggle my mind.

            • Blublud

              Not as easy as it looks.

              • hansman1982

                Guys paid millions of dollars to shoot a round ball at a round hoop. You’re telling me that with no one guarding them it’s difficult?

                For me, I can’t even dunk a basketball on a 6-foot hoop.
                For them, STFU. (I say in jest)

                • Blublud

                  How tall are you? :-D

                  • hansman1982

                    1/2 Tony Campana

                    • Blublud

                      Ok. Try a clother hamper and a rolled up sock next time. My 6 yr old does some really nasty looking dunks with that.

                    • hansman1982

                      I just did…and I failed.

                    • Blublud

                      Well my son is willing to give lessons. But he like Hamburgers too, so you may have to come off of one.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            Nobody gets to the NBA based on their ability to shoot free throws. Nobody gets cut because of their inability to make free throws.

            (Actually, free throws are a lot like most baseball “fundamentals,” aren’t they: fans and sports media get their knickers in twists about them, but they don’t correlate with winning and they are not a criterion for whether a guy starts or even makes a team.)

            • Blublud

              San Antonio game six against Miami disagrees with. SA makes one of there freethrows, LeBron’s and Ray Ray’s 3’s don’t matter.

              • DocPeterWimsey

                And dozens of other missed shots and made shots were important: that free throw was no more or less important than any of them. Guys are on the team for their ability to make and prevent those are what decide the games.

                This is one of the biggest fallacies that sports fans make: pick one of the dozens and dozens of plays in a close game and decide that *that* one was the decider.

                • Blublud

                  Nah. But the moment plays a part late in games.

                • hansman1982

                  This. There were probably twice as many missed 2-point shots or piss-poor passes that blew the game.

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                Despite San Antonio game six against Miami, free throws still do not correlate with winning. Run the numbers and see for yourself.

                • Blublud

                  Oh lord. Now they are bringing Saber Metric to Badketball. :O

                  SN: As of about an hour ago, I’m now certified to referee High School basketball in Tennessee. I wonder how different its going to be from NC.

                • Blublud

                  This actually proves my point. Dwight howard wasn’t drafted because of freethrows, but yet he’s force to do it.

                  Somebody get David Stern or Adam Silver on the phone. We need a designated freethrower.

                  • hansman1982

                    Ok, so how is shooting a free throw different than shooting a jumper from the same spot?

                    • Blublud

                      I’m actually big on NBA metric. More so then baseball.

                      Most player have their lowest field goal percentages on mid range shot. If a guy hit half of his midrange shot(which nobody in the NBA ever does. Mid to low 40% is damn near great) then that guy would probably be a high 80%, low 90% freethrow shooter. So a guy like DHoward would probably be about a 20% midrange guy if he shot enough to qualify, meanig he is 40-50 % from the line.

                      Dwight is not a shooter. He is not in the league to shoot. He is in the league because his size can dominate near the basket and score layups, block shots and play lowpost defense. So asking a pitcher to hit is essentially the same as asking Dwight Howards to shoot a free throw, because that had nothing to do with him getting to the nba.

                    • hansman1982

                      And a mid-range jumper is highly similar to a free-throw. Pitching a baseball isn’t like anything else on the baseball field, not even throwing the ball to first base.

                    • Blublud

                      “not even throwing the ball to first base.”

                      Matt Garza agrees with you.

                    • Blublud

                      Neither is Going to get a guy because he’s big, can bang and jump and can dominate a smaller person, who is not very skillfull( Dwight Howard is very unskilled) and doesnt shoot midrange jumpers and asking him to shoot a ball from midrange, because the smaller guy decides to grab him.

        • ClevelandCubsFan

          I know there’s a joke in there somewhere…. I’m just too tired to find it….

        • C. Steadman

          I wish there could be an ultimatum in baseball from high school to college to the minors to MLB that there should be no-DH…that would take a little more of the lopsidedness in a pitcher hitting…most pitchers in are hitting in AA for the first time since high school, and thats usually only the pitchers in NL farm systems based on the minor league DH rules

          • hansman1982

            It wouldn’t. For 95% of the pitchers out there, the only time they would touch a bat would be during game situations.

            The marginal improvements in their pitching ability that wouldn’t happen by them spending time in the cage would not be outweighed by their extra 4 or 5 hits a season.

  • Diamondrock

    “Here’s my note to the new commissioner. Declare the DH a failed experiment and get rid of it in the AL. Tell the union to go F#$% themselves.”

    Ha ha ha! Hilarious!

    Seriously, though. I hope they bring in the DH quickly enough for Dan Vogelbach. If there’s any reason why they should bring the DH to the NL, it’s him. I am nothing if not pragmatic when the Cubs are concerned.

  • Die hard

    Buds legacy is Sosa McGuire et al- his used car salesman mentality was sell the game no matter what — my bet is Theo goes for it as he’s young experienced and by then will be tired

  • http://www.justinjabs.com/blog/ justinjabs

    Only once Vogelbach hits his 100th home run in a Cubs uniform will I say yes to the DH.

  • Die hard

    The time is now for a minority to head MLB to reflect the players in the league– does MLB have the cahones?

    • Jono

      Hiring someone based on his/her skin color? I feel dirty just reading that

      • ClevelandCubsFan

        I think he meant one of those strange blond Latina news girls on Mexican TV.

  • Die hard

    I nominate Arturo Moreno current Angels owner

    • DarthHater

      Would he have to be called the Baseball Commissioner of Anaheim?

  • Camiata2

    Can I nominate Bill James?

    • Die hard

      He can be Asst commish

    • DarthHater

      Yes, you can nominate bill James, because if Die hard can make nominations, anybody can.

      • Mike

        That’s Darth Vader.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

    A lot of good stuff happened under Selig. Like him or not, he will be a tough act to follow.

  • Jono

    I nominate the Tribune company

  • BlameHendry

    PRAISE THE LAWD!!!!

    For real. Good riddance. Never liked him.

  • Kramden

    I don’t get the Selig hate thing…. Athletes of every sport have been found guilty of using performance enhancing drugs. Why single out Selig when every other czar of every other sport turned a blind eye until pressure forced them not to?

    Why should baseball have been held to a higher standard than football, basketball, hockey, cycling, weight lifting, etc, etc and even horse racing???

  • Bilbo161

    That wasn’t so bad. Didn’t have to duck Brett.

  • Eternal Pessimist

    Pete Rose is probably schmoozing the candidates to replace Selig as we speak.

    • bret epic

      Hopefully there’s a lot of change to come with a new commissioner. Baseball could use a bit of a revival as a whole. DH all around or no DH at all. With the increased amount of interleague play, it needs to happen. I also hope to see Rose in the hall in the near future as well.

  • macpete22

    Maybe the new commissioner will actually let Pete Rose in the HOF

    • hansman1982

      The Cubs have a better chance of winning the 2013 WS.

      • Blublud

        Pete should be in. What he done as a manager has nothing to do with what he did as a player.

        • hansman1982

          BANHAMMER!!!!!!!!!

          He broke the most sacred of all sports rules. Then he lied about it.

          BANHAMMER THE BANHAMMERED!!!

          • Blublud

            Right, as a manager. What does that have to do with his 4000 hits?

            • hansman1982

              Sadly, Pete Rose the Manager and Pete Rose the Player were the same person. Wait, I’m not sad about it.

              BANHAMMER HIM AGAIN!!!!!

              • Blublud

                Correct. But what he did wrong was still as the manager. Plus, he never bet against his own team.

                • hansman1982

                  Neither did Shoeless Joe Jackson.

                • Internet Random

                  There’s no evidence to suggest that.

        • ClevelandCubsFan

          I can count 194 hits that suggest that what he did as a manager had something to do with what he did as a player.

          • Blublud

            Huh

            • C. Steadman

              Pete Rose was a player manager

    • DarthHater

      A hamburger has a better chance of surviving the night in the hansman house.

      • hansman1982

        The night? Pfft, by then I’ve had my fill.

        The day…well then, let’s not set the bar too low.

    • Kramden

      I have 3 Pete Rose Topps Rookie Cards just waiting or him to get in the HOF where he belongs.

  • Internet Random

    “To the new chief, when he or she is named, let me say just one thing:
    Bring the designated hitter to the National League.”

    This just in: Ever the innovator, Brett Taylor of Bleacher Nation becomes the first blogger to troll his own site.

    • C. Steadman

      how is that trolling?

      • Internet Random

        Those of us who’ve been here more than 15 minutes know that DH discussions get a little contentious around here.

        Stick around. You’ll get the hang of it, kid.

        • C. Steadman

          tonight isnt my first time commenting so i’ve been around more than 15 minutes…and Brett saying that he wants the DH in the NL isnt trolling its stating his opinion in his post not undermining someone else

          • Internet Random

            Obviously you’re not a golfer.

            • C. Steadman

              obviously

  • Internet Random

    “strife-free”

    1994? PEDs?

    Low strife maybe.

    • Blublud

      Avoid a lockout/strike in the last 3 yrs, when all the other major sport leagues have experienced a lockout/strike in the last three years.

      • Internet Random

        Yeah, “low strife”.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          If you’re counting his entire commissionership as the “period” to which I referred. However, I did not.

          • Internet Random

            I see what you’re saying, and I think it’s a reasonable position.

            Still, PEDs have been causing problems in MLB the whole time. I’d point to the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 1990.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Tut tut. I didn’t say his entire time in office was strife-free.

  • Corey

    Bring the DH to the NL even though I hate it. We need Vogelbach’s bat and not his glove.

    Almora castro baez rizzo soler vogelbach bryant alcantara …lake?

  • Corey

    and castillo catching.

  • Corey

    nvm, drop lake ^

  • cubs2003

    I’m not sure what to make of Selig. The steroid era defines him in my mind. That being said, increasing the spotlight on MLB versus other sports was his job. PED’s certainly helped for a while there. The whole All-Star game deciding WS home field advantage has always seemed reactionary and short-sighted to me. Just go with the best record. Maybe I’m missing something. I hope the first thing the next commisioner does is decide DH or no for both leagues. I’m more more of an NL guy, so I prefer no DH. Both leagues with a DH is much more likely to happen, though, and I’d be fine with that.

  • cubsin

    Some of Selig’s moves have been successful and some have failed. The three most glaring failures IMHO were the snail-like pace of recognizing that the sport had a drug problem and fixing it, allowing the All-Star game to determine who gets the extra home game in the World Series and caving in to the umpires’ union. There is absolutely no justification for having C.B. Bucknor, Angel Hernandez and “Country” Joe West making decisions that might affect the outcome of a game between the Marlins and Astros, let alone a game that could decide which team advances to the playoffs or which team wins a World Series.

    I’m also not a fan of the new CBA’s impact on the draft or the movement toward an international draft.

  • cub2014

    Looks like the Cubs will pick 5th.
    (I hope they beat the Cardinals 2 of 3)
    In mock draft #5 has been Alex Jackson
    catcher from CA high school. Rated as
    top HS player coming in to 2014. Perfect
    pick wouldn’t be ready for bigs for 4-5
    years. One of 3 hardest quality positional
    spots to find (catcher,shortstop,3B)

  • Oswego Chris

    Just reviewing Hoyer’s comments on Kap’s show last night…I’m thinking Svuem is a dead man walking….well not really dead, but you know

    • MichiganGoat

      If that’s the case I’d assume they are all but certain who they will hire next and one would believe it’s a big name manager. They aren’t going to fire him only to hire another unknown manager.

  • cub2014

    Goat, I would say if Svuem is fired
    Monday. They have already talked to
    someone else and have something
    tentative. Girardi makes sense for
    many reasons:
    1. Yankees core is retiring and their
    minors are depleted. They will spend
    but it will be a new roster.
    2. Former Cub, former wildcat, from Peoria
    3. Should improve ticket sales.
    4. Stern but even keeled approach (good
    for the young players)
    5. Had success with young players in Florida
    Time for the next step in the rebuild.

  • cub2014

    if they hire Girardi or the like, I think it
    means win in 2014. So expect a couple
    mid to long term FA or trades and 3-4
    one year contracts.

  • sven-erik312

    I like having the difference between the two leagues, if only because it IS different. I’ve seen all the reasons for having uniformity and I can’t argue against any of them, But I like having a little variation.

  • kscubfan

    Not sure it means they will go out after FA maybe more that they feel the core is close and want to get the manager into the fold.

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