Selig gets three-year extention
AP Sports Writer
Vail, CO Colorado
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. ” Bud Selig was given a three-year extension as baseball commissioner through the 2012 season.
The unanimous decision made at Thursday’s owners’ meeting came two days after Selig and union head Donald Fehr testified before a congressional committee that both criticized baseball for its steroids problem and praised the sport for strides made during the past three years.
“I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished but there’s much work to be done in many areas,” Selig said.
Selig will become baseball’s second-longest-serving leader behind Kenesaw Mountain Landis, who was the first commissioner from 1920-44. Selig had said repeatedly since December 2006 that he intended to retire after the 2009 season, but many in baseball didn’t believe him.
“I did wrestle with it. I spent a lot of time agonizing over it, mainly with myself,” Selig said. “But they really convinced me.”
He became acting commissioner in September 1992, when clubs forced out Fay Vincent. After saying he wouldn’t take the job, Selig was elected to a five-year term as permanent commissioner in 1998 and gave up running the Milwaukee Brewers, the team he bought in 1970 and his family sold in 2005.
Owners voted in November 2001 to extend his term through 2006, then voted in August 2004 to extend it through 2009. He will be 78 by the end of the latest extension.
“This was coming completely from the clubs,” Red Sox chairman Tom Werner said.
Selig received $14.5 million in the 12-month period ending Oct. 31, 2005, according to Major League Baseball’s last available tax return.
Baseball’s labor contract runs through the 2011 season and its national television deals with Fox, Turner Broadcasting and ESPN run through 2013. Revenue, which was $1.66 billion when Selig became acting commissioner, topped $6 billion last year. He projects them to top $6.5 billion this year.
“This is the perfect person at the perfect time,” Oakland owner Lew Wolff said.
When the Mitchell Report on drug in baseball was released last month, Rep. Cliff Stearns called on Selig to resign.
“Certainly, a lack of leadership and oversight in MLB enabled these abuses to continue,” the Florida Republican said then. “After 15 years of slow action, a new commissioner is needed to guide the league out of this era of drug abuse.”