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Selig to Step Down at End of Contract

MLB commissioners Bug Selig announced yesterday that he will step down at the end of his current contract as commissioner, which occurs in 2009. Selig has been serving as commissioner since 1992, when he became interim commissioner following the firing of Fay Vincent. He gained the title of commissioner permanently in 1998.

Regardless of your opinions on Selig, baseball has undoubtedly changed immensely in his 14 years as commissioner. The strike of 1994 induced massive changes in baseball's economic and on-field structure. From the advent of the Wild Card to the introduction of Interleague Play in 1997, as well as the beginning of the cash cow that is MLB's online services, Selig has overseen lots of change, some good and some bad in his tenure. Through all of it, his defining moment will likely be when he, befuddled, met with umpires at the 2002 extra inning All-Star Game and declared a tie following the end of the 11th inning.

He certainly wasn't a great photo shoot, and his demeanor often rubbed many fans the wrong way, but the results cannot be questioned. MLB has undertaken many new ideas in the last 14 years that have saved the game from the financial gutter. TV contracts are now worth billions more, salaries (for better or worse) have skyrocketed, and revenue sharing and the luxury tax have been implemented. Whether you credit Selig for that or not, his tenure will undoubtedly be seen as a time of great change.

The question arises now who will be Selig's replacement. It could be an internal executive within MLB, such as Bob DuPuy or Jimmy Lee Solomon, however I offer you another interesting option. George W. Bush. Political opinions aside, Bush I think would be an excellent choice. He holds the political connections that bring him great influence and stature in the industry, that could work to MLB's benefit, and he has always wanted to take the position. As the former owner of the Texas Rangers, he has inside knowledge of the sport and its business, and has a genuine interest in the game. Besides, the timing is perfect for him to step in with the end of Selig's contract being the exact same time as the end of his presidential term. Assuming he isn't that much of a PR drawback by the end of his term, I think the opinion of him as commissioner would be a good one.