Remington: Can baseball get by without a commissioner?

From Alex Remington at The Hardball Times on March 4, 2014:

As Bud Selig prepares to retire from his long tenure as commissioner of baseball—in deed since 1992 and in name since 1998—it bears asking: Why does baseball still have a commissioner? More importantly, does baseball still need one?

The answer to the first question is simple enough. For the past 93 years, baseball always has had a commissioner, and for a sport as hidebound as baseball, that is as good a reason as any. Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis was given near-absolute authority, and with the instincts of a showman and the iron will of a dictator, he exercised it, telling baseball’s owners that he had come “to save you from yourselves.”

Many would argue that he did just that. On the eve of Selig’s retirement, and 70 years after the retirement of Landis, it may be time to close the book on the office of the commissioner.

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Originally published: March 4, 2014. Last Updated: March 4, 2014.