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Selig Legacy A Mixed Bag

by Tom King

Bud Selig will always be known in the Badger State as the man who brought baseball back to Wisconsin. That alone will mean his legacy here will be a bit different than it is in other parts of the country. It should also be noted the the most embarrassing thing  during his tenure happened here as well. I was covering the 2002 MLB All-Star game at Miller Park when both teams ran out of pitchers in the 11th inning and the commish threw up his hands and declared the game a tie. In a stunning overreaction to that event he pushed to make the game more meaningful by having the winning league get home field advantage in the World Series...which led to all kinds of comical scenarios.

He became "interim" commissioner in 1992 and since he came from the owners ranks it was no surprise that many of his edicts helped the owners. The low point of his tenure had to be 1994 when he cancelled the World Series....or maybe it was the ignoring of the PED crisis for years while Sosa, McGwire and the rest of the steroid boys brought MLB back from that work stoppage.
The Steroid era will hang over Selig's head like the Sword Of Damocles and although everyone involved in the game including the players union, the media and the owners should share the shame and the blame it's the commissioner that supposedly has the power to fix anything using his"in the best interest of the game" decree. 

There are positives of course. you cant be in office for 20 years without having something good happen. New teams in Arizona & Tampa...20 new stadiums were built although the debacle in Oakland continues to smell(literally) How can we have a major league team with raw sewage leaking into the dugout and clubhouse? The A's would like to build a new stadium in San Jose...the Giants hold rights to that area. That can be changed with a 3/4 vote of the owners...Selig has never called for that vote. Here's hoping that the commish will order the Giants to relent and let the A's move before he leaves office.

Other positives include lucrative new TV contracts, the World Baseball Classic(although I may be the only one who likes it) and Instant relay (although its taken way to long to get in fully in use).

There is no question that Bud Selig loves baseball. Here's hoping that he can enjoy it more after retirement. And here's hoping a new commish will not be a lap-dog for the owners and be able to change the things that need changing.