Selig set to retire happy when contract ends in 3 years

Updated: December 1, 2006, 7:01 PM ET
Associated Press

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.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press