Selig eager to step aside as commissioner, introduce successor
Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig is looking forward to writing a book, teaching history and taking it easy when he retires this winter.
Before that happens, however, he hopes to introduce his successor — perhaps as soon as Thursday.
Baseball's 30 owners will meet in Baltimore this week to vote on Selig's replacement. A seven-man committee whittled down an expansive list to three candidates: MLB chief operating officer Rob Manfred; Boston Red Sox chairman Tom Werner and Tim Brosnan, MLB executive vice president of business.
"The process has worked just the way I thought it would," Selig said Tuesday at the Orioles' home ballpark. "I gave them a great list of names, and these names were on it."
To win Thursday's vote, a candidate must receive approval from 23 owners.
"A lot of other people are making predictions," Selig said. "I'm staying out of that business because I don't know."
Asked what would happen if there is an impasse, Selig replied, "This seven-man committee has done really good work. We'll see what happens."
This is what won't happen: Selig changing his mind and sticking around.
"I thought long and hard before I made my announcement in October of last year," he said of the announcement actually made Sept. 26. "I just celebrated my 80th birthday. In life, there's a time to come but there's also a time to go. I'm looking forward to that. I have a lot of things planned."
Those plans include writing an autobiography, teaching at two or three universities and "maybe a little peace and quiet."
"It's time for baseball to move on and it's time for me to move on," he said. "If anybody would have told me back in September of 1992 I'd be here 22½, 23 years, that would have not been conceivable. So, I'm done."
Before he leaves, Selig hopes to see the feud between the Orioles and Washington Nationals' TV rights resolved. The Orioles own MASN, which televises Nationals games as a result of an agreement when the team moved from Montreal. The Nationals want higher annual broadcast rights payments from MASN, and the network isn't willing to fork it over.
"MASN is an inner-club dispute," Selig said. "It's an important goal before I step down. We've tried very hard, and we'll continue to try. We're doing everything we can."
As far as Thursday's vote goes, Selig has only one priority.
"The only goal I've really had all along is, when it's all over that people can say, 'Well, it was really fair,'" Selig said.
He was delighted to see that, even though the sport doesn't have a salary cap, small-market teams such as Kansas City, Oakland and Tampa Bay have flourished.
"The things we set out to do in the `90s, that was the objective," Selig said. "I always have regarded my job to be to provide hope and faith in as many places as possible. And we've done that. Baseball is better off as a result of it."