Congrats to Selig on his careerPublished 5:45pm Friday, July 25, 2014
Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, who has championed several positive changes in the game during his 22-year tenure, will be stepping down Jan. 24, 2015.
When he leaves the game, it will be in much better shape than it was when he took over, and I salute him for that. He expanded the playoffs, brought wild card representatives into them and created the best drug-testing program in all of sports.
Selig’s strong leadership has also enabled baseball to generate nearly $9 billion in revenue, enabled players to earn an average salary of $3.3 million with no salary cap and enabled the Los Angeles Dodgers to sell for a record for $2.15 billion. In addition, attendance is higher than it has ever been and teams are making more money than they ever have.
Baseball has defiantly bounced back from the ugly “steroid era” and the cancellation of the 1994 World Series brought on by a players strike.
In a recent interview with USA Today, Selig pointed out that the economic reformation of the sport is something he is most proud of, he pointed out that baseball has the best competitive balance that it has every had.
Baseball still does have some problems, but they are much smaller than they were when he took over 22 years ago. The Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays still play in stadiums that are subpar and the time of games are averaging a record three hours long.
New York Yankees future Hall of Fame shortstop Derek Jeter, who will be retiring at the end of the season, says baseball will not be the same when Selig leaves.
“He’s done a great job,” Jeter said to USA Today, referring to Selig’s term as baseball commissioner. “I wish him all the best.”
Selig, who was owner of the Milwaukee Brewers before becoming commissioner, and Jeter have a great mutual respect for each other.
“Baseball won’t be the same without Derek Jeter, who won five World Series championships with the Yankees and became the game’s ultimate role model,” Selig said to USA Today.
He pointed out that if fans two decades ago had been asked to pick who they would want to be the face of baseball, they probably would have picked someone like Derek Jeter. Selig calls Jeter the baseball icon of his generation.
Boston Red Sox coach Brian Butterfield recently expressed his opinion that there will never be another Derek Jeter.
“There will be good players that come along, but not Derek Jeter,” Butterfield said to USA Today. In response, Jeter suggested that there also might not be another Bud Selig either.
I don’t know whom the next Yankee star or the next baseball commissioner will but I can assure you that they will both follow in the footsteps of one of the greats.