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Will Bud Selig step down as commissioner?

Posted by Andy on March 30, 2011

Jon Heyman has tweeted that Bud Selig is non-committal as far as stepping down as commissioner when his current contract expires at the end of 2012.

I have very mixed feelings on Selig. I think he's done a lot of good things for the game but is also certainly complicit in the non-action surrounding steroids and other substances.

My big question is--assuming I wanted him to go at the end of 2012, who would I want to replace him? The only people that come to mind would be even worse.

Who would you like to see as commissioner in 2013--Selig, or someone else?

40 Responses to “Will Bud Selig step down as commissioner?”

  1. Chris Reed Says:

    To me, Selig is the second worst commissioner out there next to Bettman. From the steroids scandal, all-star game fiasco, salaries raising to the point of having permanent have and have-not teams, and the Montreal fiasco (why is Loria an owner in this league again?), he really needed to go years ago.

    As for who to replace him? Good question. Best case scenario would be someone that is truly independent (aka not an owner, or has ties to Selig), a Landis without the failings that he possessed would probably work, but I'm not seeing anyone like that on the horizon. Heck i'm not seeing anyone that wouldn't just have the office be nothing more then a rubber stamp for the will of the owners, which is unfortunate for the only group that is never represented in this kind of thing; the fans.

  2. Andy Says:

    It's not as if David Stern and Roger Goodell haven't taken their lumps too. Stern's lately been accused of fixing games and post-season series, and Goodell's sport is currently in a work stoppage...

  3. LoneStranger Says:

    I was wondering if the Joe Torre hiring as EVP of Baseball Operations was somehow a way to get him in the door and groomed to eventually take over the commissioner's role. He was a player, broadcaster and manager. The question is whether or not there is enough there for the team owners to appreciate in order to accept him as the head of the lodge.

  4. Chuck Says:

    Who cares?

    The owner's and MLBPA run baseball, the Commissioner is just a well compensated spokesman/mediator with little authority over what happens on a day to day basis.

    You could put a suit and tie on a monkey and get the same results.

    If power was somehow returned to the Commissioner, I would cast my vote for Hank Aaron.

    There is no one more respected than he is, and he would rule with a fair, but iron, fist.

  5. PANRELL Says:

    Since I believe the commish is supposed to have the best intrest of the game at heart, how about someone who loves the game but has no ties to either players or owners-Bob Costas.

  6. Thomas Court Says:

    I think Bob Costas would make a good commissioner. He never played the game, but knows the games history as well as anyone.

  7. Anthony Ventarola Says:

    As fans you have the most power. You have the power of the pursestrings, but you don't use it. The way you express your dissatisfaction with the baseball system is by doing what I have for three years - DONT WATCH, DONT GO!

  8. Thomas Court Says:


    You beat my post by seconds... I am glad I am not the only one who thought of Costas.

  9. Dave Says:

    Donald Trump.
    If he's the baseball leader, it would prevent him from taking that other bigger government job he thinks he can do

  10. Panrell Says:

    @7 I am not dis-satisfied with the game. I am quite looking foward to opening day. Regardless of who is commish.

  11. fordham'13 Says:

    Condoleezza Rice

  12. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    @5/ PANRELL Says:... "Since I believe the commish is supposed to have the best interest of the game at heart, how about someone who loves the game but has no ties to either players or owners-Bob Costas."

    Panrell, after Landis, the Commisioner of Baseball has almost _always_ represented the owners interests, despite whatever PR spin MLB has put out to assure fans that the Commish is looking out for "the best interest of the game".

    Landis got unprecedented powers from the owners because:
    - MLB desparately needed Judge Landis' prestige (as a respected Federal Judge) after the Black Sox Scandal/ trials of 1920-21
    - Landis was the very first Commisioner, and no one really knew how he could or would use his powers, or what the limits to his powers would be

    After Landis passed on, the owners collectively made sure that no Commisioner would execute as much actual power. Fay Vincent tried several times to act in "the best interest of the game", and got bounced for his trouble.

  13. TheIronHorse Says:

    George Will

  14. Kyle Says:

    George W. Bush!

  15. Larry R. Says:

    Tom Boswell

  16. Dr. Doom Says:

    Are you guys kidding? The answer's obvious: Sean Forman for commish!

    Seriously, though, I'm a little biased toward Selig, because I'm a native Milwaukeean, and the vehemence that is often reserved for him in other places is not as prevalent in Milwaukee, and I have no problem with him as commissioner.

    As for comparing him to other commissioners, I have Stern first (for as many controversial things as he's done, the NBA's health is pretty good. The only silly thing is how much money gets poured into the WNBA, when there's really no demand). Then Selig. Bettman's awful (obviously #4 of the group), and Goodell is trying to run the NFL into the ground. A team in London? Are you kidding?

    Anyway, I can't really think of someone else to run baseball, but hopefully they'll put together a good search committee to find the right person.

  17. Matt Says:

    If it is not Selig, it will be someone we've never heard of. How many knew of Roger Goodell before he was commish?

    I agree it doesn't matter. The Commish is an employee of the owners, and follows their lead.

  18. KB Says:

    In addition to the above names, it seems to me Jimmie Lee Solomon would be an obvious candidate, like it or not.

    Just a thought, but what about Cal Ripken? He's had plenty upon plenty of experience organizing and leading baseball. Okay, maybe not Cal, but it's an interesting idea.

  19. BSK Says:

    "I have very mixed feelings on Selig. I think he's done a lot of good things for the game but is also certainly complicit in the non-action surrounding steroids and other substances."

    At the risk of opening a can-of-works, the obvious implication of that statement is that you view his lack of policing of substances as a bad thing. I'm curious to hear this position more fleshed out.

    To clarify, I don't deny that he was indeed complicit in the non-action. What I'm curious about is why this is necessarily a bad thing. The more I think about these issues, the more the libertarian streak in me thinks that players should be able to make decisions about what they put into their bodies and that we would likely have less competitive advantage gained than more if there wasn't such a taboo surrounding it. I realize this isn't a legal argument (MLB is not the government and, as such, is free to govern as they please), but more a moral one. If Bud were to stand up and say that he felt that steroids were no different than cortizone or Tommy John surgery, would it still be a stain on his record? It'd be hard for him to take that position given all the grandstanding he has done recently. But let's give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he had nothing but the most noble of intentions*.

    My personal feeling is that he knew about it, didn't like it, but avoided doing anything about it because all the HRs were good for the financial bottom line. When it became bad, he took up the crusade. For me, that is a huge blemish. I'm just engaging in a thought exercise.

  20. BSK Says:

    A can-of-works? Let's hope I don't open that! Can-of-worms!

  21. Panrell Says:

    @12 That's why I used the word "supposed". I'm aware the commish is slanted toward the owners, that's why a change would be good.

  22. BSK Says:

    As for ranking the current commissioners, as much as it pains me to say it, I'd have to put Selig first, I think.

    While I feel that Selig has a history of dishonesty, generally the decisions he has made (revenue sharing; wild card) have been good for the game.

    Stern has proven to care little about the fans, given how he has handled franchise relocation. And while the uproar ultimately amounted to nothing, I thought his refusal to address questions of racial bias in the dress code were astounding.

    Goodel... ugh... where to start? Cares nothing for player safety, only the illusion of player safety. Power-hungry who views the players as needing him when the opposite is really true. Couldn't hate him more.

    I don't know enough about Bettman to weigh in. All in all, a fairly sad lot.

  23. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    @21/- Panrell - I was not knocking you, I was just trying to add a little historical perspective. Reading back #5 and #21 now, I see your point.

    Be careful of what you (collectively) wish for; the new guy may make us long for the "good 'ole days" of Selig...

  24. Jeff E. Says:

    I'm not a Selig fan because in my view he has concentrated on increasing revenues while ignoring competitive balance issues which would vastly improve the game and increase fan interest, however he has received unwarranted criticism for the steroid affair. The MLBPA has and continues to resist meaningful testing standards. Bud did mandate testing at the minor league level which did NOT require the consent of the players association but was powerless to do so at the ML level without the agreement and assistance of the players association. Review the history of player recalcitrance towards drug testing and Selig is vindicated. Bud Selig is NOT Kenesaw Landis because Landis did NOT have to deal with the MLBPA when he issued his mandates.

  25. Panrell Says:

    @23 No worries. I agree, careful what you wish for. I still love the game no matter who's in there. Can't wait for tommorow!!

  26. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    @25/Panrell - I agree with you, VERY well said!

  27. kenh Says:

    Someone who has played the game like Joe Torre. Won't happen though. A legal background is paramount.

  28. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Anyone who isn't a shill for the owners, who isn't obviously anti-player, who doesn't command a salary higher than most of the players he thinks are making too much, who doesn't actively denigrate MLB in general or the chances of specific teams, who doesn't lie about MLB's or its teams' financial condition. Etc.

    Bud Seaslug is disgraceful. I think he plays this game about deciding whether to stay on every few years. Once his salary is bumped up to $30M I'm sure he'll find it in his heart to stay around a few more years.

  29. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    Sometimes I think we treat commissioners the same way we treat coaches and managers in sports - we give them way too much credit for success, and way too much blame for failure. Most of what happens on or off the playing field is simply beyond the control of any one individual, no matter what his title or what his power is perceived to be.

    I am not really sure how to evaluate Selig as the Commissioner of MLB; the "business of baseball"is just about as successful as ever,measured by revenue or attendance. OTOH, there are specific policies and trends (for example: interleague play, the separation of teams into "Haves" and "Have Nots") that large numbers of people disagree with quite strongly.

    I guess it depends on how you personally define "success"and "failure" for the Comissioner of MLB.

  30. Voomo Zanzibar Says:

    Everyone involved in canceling 1994 should be banned from the game.
    That Bud is still around and that our most elite demigods (bonds/clemens) are the ones strung up by their shrunken testes is beyond embarrassing.

  31. David Frantz Says:

    I think it should be noted that MLB is the only one of the four major sports leagues that hasn't had a work stoppage in the last 15 years.

  32. dukeofflatbush Says:

    There's three more?

  33. CRTYonker Says:

    A couple of names that have been mentioned in the past as possible Commissioners include George Mitchell, Sandy Alderson, & Pat Gillick.

  34. BSK Says:

    Who pays his salary? The teams? Does it come out of the general revenue pool?

  35. Justin Bailey Says:

    I don't care who it is as long as his last name is Gordon.

  36. Paul E Says:

    1) Whoever it is, they should definitely be less than 60 years of age - just in case they're competent, they can hang around for ten or fifteen years before they start falling asleep at ballgames.....

    2) A real sharpie, you know, a quasi/semi Wall Street hood or corporate attorney type

    3) Or that horse's rear-end, Curt Schilling. It would be good for his poor, attention-starved ego. Nah, maybe not..........

    4) Costas would be great - he loves baseball, but, he loves the Cardinals, too. Probably a little unforgivable to be less than objective.

    5) Rudolfo Giuliani or the other NY stickman, Elliot Spitzer

  37. steven Says:

    Bill Lee or Jim Bouton.

  38. James Smyth Says:

    Amen, 35!

  39. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    @35/... Justin Bailey Says: "I don't care who it is as long as his last name is Gordon."

    Will he also have a direct phone line to Batman?

  40. TheGoof Says:

    All I have to say is that Bud Selig is the only non-dictator, with the possible exception of nutty entertainers (Jersey Shore cast members, Sarah Palin, Charlie Sheen) to make George W. Bush look good.