SBD/April 1, 2014/MLB Season Preview

Bud Selig, Lauded For Past Accomplishments, Reinforces Decision To Retire Following '14

MLB under Selig's watch has grown from a $1.2B industry into an $8B-a-year empire
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig is retiring after this season, his 23rd year at the helm, and it will be a “moment of both melancholy and merriment,” according to Bob McManaman of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. Selig “guided the sport through its good times and bad, maneuvering it from tense and tiring work stoppages into two decades of labor peace.” He also “oversaw expansion and introduced interleague play, the wild-card format and instant replay,” which was on full display yesterday. Selig made revenue sharing a “workable reality, bringing competitive balance back to baseball, and did his best to steer the game out of the steroids era by instituting the toughest drug-policy program in all of professional sports.” MLB under Selig's watch has grown from a $1.2B industry into an "$8 billion-a-year empire." MLB "never has been stronger," and Selig is "quick to remind that the past 10 years have been the greatest ever in terms of attendance." Selig said, "The last 21 years have been remarkable and I'm proud of that, especially for a sport that had a work stoppage every two years." McManaman notes the present CBA "doesn't expire" until December '16, and both Selig and MLBPA Exec Dir Tony Clark said that there are "no immediate plans to enter into any early rounds of negotiations." Meanwhile, Selig "wouldn't divulge anything relating to whom baseball owners will pick next as their new commissioner or when he might be named." There is "speculation it could happen in May during the next quarterly owners meeting" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 4/1).

THE LAST SEASON BEGINS: Selig took in yesterday's season-opening Braves-Brewers game, and MLB.com's Mike Bauman noted Selig "rejected the suggestion" that his view of his final Opening Day as commissioner would be "bittersweet." Selig said of retiring following the season, "It's a decision I made. I've had this job now for 23 years. My (baseball) career started in 1964 so I've been at it for 50 years." Brewers Owner Mark Attanasio had said that he was "one of a group that was attempting to get Selig to stay" as commissioner beyond January '15. But Selig indicated that staying in his present role "was not going to happen." Selig: "I'm going to retire, I'm going to teach, I'm going to write a book, I'm going to do all the things I said" (MLB.com, 3/31).
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