Bud Selig is planning on leaving the position of Commissioner of Major League Baseball in 2012. (Sign of the end of times?) He says he wants to pursue other interests. I’m wondering what this means for Major League Baseball. My first instinct is that his departure will be good for the MLB. It is impossible to be certain though. Whatever things he’s done or failed to do has led up to baseball being where it is right now. And where is that? Well it’s still a very profitable place to be and it’s still a very popular place to be. While these two facts don’t necessarily mean he was awesome, to me they at least mean he did a fine job.
Plus, we have to remember that he came at a very difficult time, with the steroid era and the strike of 1994. But maybe it can be argued that he made it a very difficult time. Surely steroids weren’t his fault but he could have pursued them aggressively when the whispers in the clubhouses began. Not when Canseco’s book, Juiced, dropped. Or maybe the blame lies with Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds and all the others. (Don’t you love how we praise McGwire for helping resurrect baseball after the 1994 strike and then, out of the other side of our mouths we tear him apart for hurting baseball with his steroids use and the unethical way he rewrote the record books?)
I do firmly believe that Fay Vincent should have never been forced out of the commissioner’s office. He was a great leader and he truly put the best interests of the game first. Selig? I believe Selig put money and the owners ahead of the game. But it is what it is. And it’s not that bad.
So where will it go from here? I’ll be content if it maintains the status quo on most levels. I don’t want to see any large steps taken toward reaching parity. I don’t want to see increased revenue sharing or salary caps. I don’t want expansion, but I really don’t want contraction. I don’t want the length of the season altered in anyways except to make there less days off during the playoffs. I would love to see a commish dedicated to making sure that the public understands that baseball games are important even when a team from the Northeast or West coast isn’t involved. I would also like to see limited instant replay introduced in the postseason.
All that to say I’m leaning towards being excited. But baseball is thriving when companies all over America are failing. So maybe I shouldn’t be too excited to see Selig leave.