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Selig set to retire happy when contract ends in 3 years

12/1/2006 - MLB

NEW YORK -- Bud Selig says he plans to retire as baseball
commissioner in three years -- and he really means it this time.

"My contract is going to be over. I'm going to be 75 years of
age. I want to teach -- I've already had some great offers -- and
want to write a book," Selig said Friday.

Selig has repeatedly said in the last two years that he intends
for this to be his final term as commissioner. Still, many owners
think he can be persuaded to change his mind.

"There's no story here," Selig said.

Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, a close friend, thinks
Selig is serious about leaving after this term.

"He has been saying this since his last extension," Reinsdorf
said. "I don't doubt that he means it now. I don't know if he can
be persuaded to reconsider."

In April 2003, Selig said he would leave at the end of 2006.

"I think that will be enough. There's no question, because
there are other things I really would like to do," he said then.

In August 2004, he accepted an extension through 2009, when he
will be 75.

"I had a series of owners who asked me after that time not to
close my mind, and they were a little surprised that I had said
that," Selig said at the time that extension was announced. "Once
they have articulated that, I believe that my responsibility and my
feeling for the sport is such that I want to do what they think is
in the best interests of the sport. ... I finally felt it was the
right thing to do."

Selig, longtime owner of the Milwaukee Brewers, was appointed
acting commissioner in September 1992 when he helped lead a group
that forced out Fay Vincent. Selig spent nearly six years saying he
would never take the job on a full-time basis. He did just that in
July 1998, accepting a five-year term, and in November 2001 owners
extended him through 2006.

Baseball's new labor contract runs through the 2011 season, and
its national television deals with Fox, Turner Broadcasting and
ESPN run through 2013.

If Selig really does leave, former Chicago Cubs chief executive
officer Andy MacPhail, Washington Nationals president Stan Kasten,
San Diego Padres CEO Sandy Alderson and Boston Red Sox president
Larry Lucchino would be among the possible candidates to succeed
him.