Amid a flurry of reports we have learned that Bud Selig will be retiring after the 2014 season, after serving as MLB Commissioner since 1992.
Selig said in a statement today:
Baseball is the greatest game ever invented, and I look forward to continuing its extraordinary growth and addressing several significant issues during the remainder of my term. I am grateful to the owners throughout Major League Baseball for their unwavering support and for allowing me to lead this great institution.
I thank our players, who give me unlimited enthusiasm about the future of our game. Together we have taken this sport to new heights and have positioned our national pastime to thrive for generations to come. Most of all, I would like to thank our fans, who are the heart and soul of our game.
Selig has been a polarizing figure over the years.
Everyone remembers the 1994 players strike and consequent cancellation of the World Series, as well as the 2002 All Star Game, which, in unprecedented fashion, ended in a tie—leaving fans to jeer “Bud must go!”
The Mitchell Report, too, brought to light many of the establishment’s foibles, as well as those of many of baseball’s prominent figures and members of Congress, making the affair look more like a circus than a plea for justice.
Additionally, his recent changes to “make the All Star Game count,” deciding home field advantage in the World Series, and his addition of a second Wild Card spot from each league to expand the playoff pool, have also been met with criticism.
Despite these things, however, many do credit Selig with keeping the game player strike-free since 1994 and moving baseball in an increasingly technology-friendly direction.
We expect to hear more from Bud in the coming days about his impending departure.