Part One: It just feels bizzare
Bud Selig is in his final hours of being the commissioner of Major League Baseball, something he’s been for 22 1/2 years. That’s quite a long time. It must feel bizzare to him but the strange thing is that it feels absolutely bizzare to me as well.
He’s the only commission I’ve ever really known. I was 11 years old when he took over for Fay Vincent in 1992. I’ve been a baseball fan since I was three or four but between four and 11 you are learning more about the game than the business behind it.
I knew more about Mark McGwire and Rickey Henderson and the entire A’s team and had only heard the name Fay Vincent. So after spending my adolescence and all of my entire adult life, learning about as many aspects of the game as I could (and believe me there’s still more I need to learn!!) and having Selig as commissioner it’s only natural to feel strange about someone else taking over for him, isn’t it?
Not that I see Rob Manfred, who will succeed Selig as the new commissioner of baseball when the clock strikes midnight on the east coast (and it is about to), as being all that different from Selig, who he’s known and worked under for quite sometime. I don’t believe that there will be any huge diversion from Selig’s vision for the game.
Selig took over during a time of unprecedented labor unrest in the sport. He’s kept things of that nature under control ever since the strike-shortened seasons of 1994 and 1995.
Selig will go down in history thus far as the best commissioner baseball’s ever had according to many, including former commission Peter Ueberroth who said,
“Bud will go down in history as the No. 1 commissioner that has served baseball, and without question,”
There are things he has done that I haven’t agreed with which will be explained in Part Two of this post. Exspansion is one thing but the addition of the Wild Card and even worse the second Wild Card are things I don’t really agree with.
Regardless of my own personal disdain for the Wild Card system, expansion has worked wonders for the game and Selig leaves baseball much more prosperous than it has ever been.
And for if nothing but that we owe Selig a vote of gratitude and a congratulations on his retirement. So here it is –