Should Bud Selig accept a two-year extension as MLB commissioner?
Writers from around the Tribune Co. discuss MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, who reportedly will be offered a contract extension by baseball owners this week. Check back throughout the day for more responses and join the discussion by voting in the poll and leaving a comment of your own.
Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times
Here's a better question: If he doesn't, who replaces him?
Selig is 77. He had proclaimed repeatedly that he would retire at the end of this year. No one believed him, not even his wife. No one formed a committee to search for his replacement.
This would be a good time for Selig to go. MLB just reached a new labor agreement, ensuring two decades without a strike or lockout. Revenues are up, to $7.5 billion. He pushed Dodgers owner Frank McCourt out the door.
But MLB runs by consensus, and Selig is the one who spends hours every day building that consensus. More power to him. Yet it might be nice if the new contract were accompanied by an announcement of a succession plan. Selig will be 80 by the time his new deal expires. There is baseball beyond him, and now is the time to prepare.
Phil Rogers, Los Angeles Times
Bud Selig loves his work, and he does it very well. Sooner or later, he’s going to have to walk away -– for his good, not the game’s. But that time is not now. There’s no reason that the 77-year-old Selig shouldn’t accept the owners’ offer of a two-year contract extension, which will mean he’ll run the game through 2014, more than likely spending his 80th birthday in the office.
It would be different, and Selig probably would have long ago resigned, if that office were not in downtown Milwaukee, a short drive from the house where he begins most days on a treadmill and ends them in front of a bank of televisions. Selig is well compensated, but the biggest concession he’s ever gotten from MLB owners is the understanding that in the modern landscape he can oversee 30 franchises as well from Wisconsin as New York.
He has plenty of work to keep him busy -– in particular the stadium issues in Oakland and Tampa Bay and the ownership issues of the Dodgers and Mets -– and he’s a man who likes to be busy. He has a solid corps of longtime second-in-commands, who serve him well, and he can delegate. He’s trusted by owners and the players. He won’t be around forever, but there’s no reason to hasten a succession that seems sure to weaken MLB’s leadership.
Juan C. Rodriguez, South Florida Sun Sentinel
Selig earned $18.4 million last year. Why wouldn’t he want to stick around? By far Selig’s salary dwarfs those of NFL and NBA counterparts Roger Goodell ($10.9 million) and David Stern ($10 million), respectively.
Money shouldn’t be Selig’s primary motivation for returning, but it’s chief among the reasons owners aren’t rushing him out. Under Selig’s watch, the sport’s revenues have ballooned from $1.4 billion (1995) to $7 billion (2010). From 1995-2000, in the aftermath of the last work stoppage, those revenues on average rose 19.54% annually.
Selig’s tenure has endured a few hiccups. He like many others in the game did nothing to curb the steroid era during the power-hitting renaissance. The All-Star Game determining home field advantage for the World Series remains unpopular.
His successes -- including the World Baseball Classic, interleague play, two decades of labor peace and soon to be expanded playoffs -- outweigh his failures.]
Photo: Bud Selig. Credit: Jamie Squire / Getty Images