Commissioner, Commissioner Not

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Baseball's Business: The Winter Meetings: 1958-2016Commissioner, Commissioner Not

After the bitter battle for a labor agreement, there were mixed feelings regarding whether Bud Selig should remain commissioner, with many off-the-record statements and opinions about who should be able to offer an opinion. The following quotes represent some of the more public statements on the topic.[1]

“I think a change should take place and will take place within the next six months. The change should be a graceful one. In some respects, he was an effective commissioner in that he could communicate with the clubs in an effective manner. He’s taken so much [stuff] over the past few years, he deserves a graceful exit. [But] there’s an inherent conflict in having an owner be the commissioner, and I think we need to get someone from outside baseball who hasn’t been tarnished by what went on.”

  • Unnamed baseball executive

“As long as Bud Selig, with his reputation, remains in any central baseball administrative role, that will be a great impediment to baseball’s recovery. We need a full-time CEO who actually spends full time running the business, that has experience running a large business and can command the respect of the fans and the corporate advertising community. A new commissioner is absolutely necessary for the recovery process to continue.”

  • Don Fehr, executive director, MLBPA

“The notion that there will be any cooperation between this office and that office while Bud is commissioner is fantasy.”

  • Unnamed Players Association source

“I have said that all along, and I haven’t changed my mind.”

  • Bud Selig, in response to the idea that he wouldn’t take the commissioner job

“I think he is going to wind up as commissioner, whether he wants it or not.”

  • Unnamed management official

“That’s counterproductive for Don to say that. Now some people will want to keep [Selig] just to [anger] Don.”

  • Unnamed owner

 

Notes

[1] Mark Maske, “On the Heels of Labor Harmony, Some Commissioner’s Shoes to Fill,” Washington Post, January 11, 1997: F7. See also Maske, “Baseball’s Executive Decision,” Washington Post, January 15, 1997: C2.

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