Last week, Allan “Bud” Selig announced he would step down as Commissioner of Major League Baseball after the end of the 2014 season. Selig has held the position since 1992, or 21 years, the first six of which he was actually Interim Commissioner. His interim status lasted longer than that of several of his predecessors and lasted nearly as long as the Clinton Administration.
So how did Selig manage to spend more than two decades on the job? It’s very simple – he was an owner. For many years, the public was under the illusion that the Commissioner was an independent figure. Consider what the late Marvin Miller, the longtime Executive Director of the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA), wrote about the role of the Commissioner in his 1991 book A Whole Different Ballgame: The Sport and Business of Baseball: