Bud Selig Announces 2015 Retirement

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

He's really going to retire this time. (No, really. There's a press release.)

Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig has announced his retirement, effective January 24, 2015.

Yes, you have heard this before. In this article I wrote about Selig's possible successor, I linked to three other times he had said he was "definitely" retiring, going back as far as 2006.

This time, it appears it's for real, as there has been a press release sent out from the commissioner's office. That didn't happen on any of the previous occasions. Selig will be 80 years old next July and sometime next fall, he will become the longest-serving commissioner.

Discussion of what Selig has done for baseball has been made many times here; his tenure can best be described as "mixed". He has made billions of dollars for MLB owners (and players); he has presided over the longest period of labor peace in the sport in more than 40 years (uninterrupted play since the 1995 strike ended), and expanded the postseason (some like that, others don't).

On the other hand, he has been remarkably tone-deaf in modernizing the game; expanded replay review should have come years ago, as should the lifting of regional TV blackouts, among other things. The various PED scandals were also on his watch. For many of us, the most enduring image of Selig's commissionership is depicted above, the "shrug" at the 2002 All-Star Game at Miller Park, which led to the awful "This Time It Counts" All-Star Games, determining home-field advantage in the World Series. (I actually had to ask Mike Bojanowski the other day who won this year's game, because I couldn't remember.)

There doesn't seem to be a consensus on a successor; many tweets I saw today indicated that no one candidate could get the required 24 club owner votes. That's why this part of the press release is most interesting:

Commissioner Selig will announce shortly a transition plan in preparation for his retirement, which will reorganize centralized Major League Baseball management. 

"Reorganize." What does that mean, exactly? Will baseball no longer have a single commissioner? How will it be organized? That's a really interesting statement, which should provide some discussion fodder for you. Have at it.

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