Since 1992, Allan H. "Bud" Selig has been the commssioner of Major League Baseball. After 21 years on the job, he announced on Thursday that he he will step down from office when his current term expires on January 24, 2015. During his announcement, he expressed his feelings towards the baseball community as he prepares to leave.
It remains my great privilege to serve the game I have loved throughout my life. Baseball is the greatest game ever invented, and I look forward to continuing its extraordinary growth and addressing several significant issues during the remainder of my term.
I am grateful to the owners throughout Major League Baseball for their unwavering support and for allowing me to lead this great institution. I thank our players, who give me unlimited enthusiasm about the future of our game. Together, we have taken this sport to new heights and have positioned our national pastime to thrive for generations to come. Most of all, I would like to thank our fans, who are the heart and soul of our game.
During his tenure as commissioner, Selig has been at the center of some of the sport's biggest movements. In 1994, he expanded the the two-division format into a three divisions and added the Wild Card concept the same year. This was done at the start of the season, before the highly publicized strike, when the season was prematurely ended. The Wild Card situation was not initially well-received, but has since been welcomed by essentially everyone, as it gives at least one other team an additional incentive for the playoffs.
In 1997, he introduced Interleague Play. Much like the Wild Card idea, this was not met with a positive reaction. And to this day, many still are against the idea, feeling it takes away from the heritage of the World Series.
He also was a part of this year's massive Biogenesis investigation. Selig put a great deal of time and money into looking into the Florida clinic that supplied stars such as Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez with performance-enhancing drugs (PED's). Nearly two dozen players were named in the scandal, and were given various suspensions. Braun accepted a season-ending 65-game suspension, while Rodriguez was blasted with a 211-game suspension.
In addition, we have also seen home-field advantage in the World Series go to the winner of the All-Star Game, the Montreal Expos became the Washington Nationals, and April 15 became Jackie Robinson Day under his direction. All teams have retired the No. 42 jersey including the New York Yankees, who will follow suit this weekend after the retirement of legendary closer Mariano Rivera. But he still has a few things left to accomplish before he steps down.
There are a number of things I really want to do before I'm done. PED's is absolutely part of it. We have some internal disputes we're going to clean up. Almost to a fault, I put a historical perspective on everything. And I want to at least, from my own understanding, clear up as many of these things as I possibly can. We've done everything we said we were going to do and more.
Selig will be announcing a transition plan in preparation for his retirement, which will reorganize centralized MLB management.