On Wednesday the MLB owners decided to extend the contract of commissioner Bud Selig through 2014. Previously set to retire after his current contract was up, it appears Selig isn't done as the commish and has a few more years left in him. What does this mean for baseball and the Nats?
Well to be sure, as has been the hallmark of his tenure, the status quo will not remain. As he has shown throughout his career, Selig wants the push the game forward, make it more exciting, cleaner and fairer. The advent of the Wild Card (and now the second Wild Card), Interleague play, drug testing, and even the World Baseball Classic have seen baseball set record attendance numbers, while fattening owner's (and player's) wallets. More than any Commissioner since baseball's first, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, Bud Selig has been proactive as opposed to reactive and it has benefited the game, the fans, the players, and the owners.
His greatest decision as commissioner, at least in the rose colored glasses of this blog, was the transfer of the Montreal Expos to Washington, DC. Now 7 seasons in, it is clear that Washington not only needed a MLB team, but could become a preeminent contender and cornerstone franchise. The only negative of the whole situation was the ceding of TV rights to Peter Angelos, and that will (hopefully) soon be remedied as the 5 year renegotiation window has been reached and the Nats are in line for a huge chunk of change on a new TV rights deal.
Selig's tenure has been so fruitful, it makes you wonder why he would want another 2 years. Well to be certain he wants to see the second Wild Card through to implementation. I'm sure he also wants to ensure a smooth, baseball friendly resolution to the Dodgers ownership situation. They are a flagship franchise and baseball is better when they are relevant. As much as ever he wants to expand the games borders and grow the game internationally. And Mr. Selig probably does have a bit of residual guilt from presiding over one of the most tainted eras in baseball history. So he probably feels he has more penance to pay.
Bud Selig is as polarizing a figure as there comes, but minutia aside, he has been a tremendous agent of chance for a game that had become complacent. He has overseen the most progressive era in baseball history and put baseball on a course to survive and prosper over the next 30-50 years. Why not retire? Well, Bud loves baseball, and isn't ready to give up the game. And really, do you blame him?