NEW YORK (AP) - Addressing sports editors for what he said was the final time, baseball Commissioner Bud Selig tried to sum up his proudest accomplishment since he took the job in 1992.
Selig announced in September his last day will be Jan. 24, 2015. He said when he followed Fay Vincent he inherited “an industry that had not functioned well in terms of getting along, getting things done both internally and externally.”
“I guess the ability to get people to work together and the economic changes,” he cited Friday when asked by the Associated Press Sports Editors what he was proudest of. “I look back on it and it’s remarkable to me, even in retrospect.”
Selig turns 80 in July and he says he will not accept another extension, although he admits “I keep hearing a lot of owners it seems for whatever reason” think he will.
“It’s hard to understand that,” he said. “Next Jan. 25 is it.”
Yet, he won’t publicly announce succession plans.
“It will be a very comprehensive, thorough process, but it needs to be done in a quiet and thoughtful way if it’s going to be successful,” he said.
He sat alongside MLB Chief Operating Officer Rob Manfred, who was hired by Selig as his chief labor negotiator in 1998. Manfred was promoted to his new role in September and is viewed by some as the heir apparent.
“Since I’ve done this job the last 23 years, I guess I have an opinion,” he said.
As for regrets, Selig thought back to the cancellation of the 1994 World Series during a 7½-month players’ strike prompted by management’s attempt to obtain a salary cap.
“We were headed for it. There was all the lack of trust,” he said. You say who was to blame? I could write a script either way. That’s unimportant anymore. So I’ve tried to think of that period and think was there anything? I think we learned a lot. I have to say that at least I did.”
On other topics, Selig said:
- MLB has a chance to reach $9 billion in revenue for the first time this year.