Commissioner of Baseball - Overview of Commissioners - Bud Selig (1992–present)

Bud Selig (1992–present)

Bud Selig served as the Executive Council Chairman from 1992 to 1998, acting as the commissioner, and then was appointed as the official commissioner in 1998. Selig oversaw baseball through the 1994 strike, the introduction of the wild card, interleague play, and the merging of the National and American leagues under the Office of the Commissioner. He was instrumental in organizing the World Baseball Classic in 2006. Selig also introduced revenue sharing. He is credited for the financial turnaround of baseball during his tenure with a 400 percent increase in the revenue of MLB and annual record breaking attendance.

During Selig's term of service, the use of steroids and other performance enhancing drugs became a public issue. The Mitchell Report, commissioned by Selig, concluded that the MLB commissioners, club officials, the Players Association, and the players all share "to some extent in the responsibility for the steroid era." Following the release of the Mitchell Report, Congressman Cliff Stearns called publicly for Selig to step down as commissioner, citing his "glacial response" to the "growing stain on baseball." Selig has pledged on numerous occasions to rid baseball of performance enhancing drugs, and has overseen and instituted many rule changes and penalties to that end.

Bud Selig helped introduce the following changes to Major League Baseball:

  • Realignment of teams into three divisions per league, and the introduction of playoff wild card teams: one per league starting in 1994, and two per league starting in 2012
  • Interleague play (1997)
  • Two additional franchises: the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (1998)
  • An unbalanced schedule formula that heavily favors intradivisional play (2001)
  • Abolition of the National and American League offices and presidencies, and inclusion of all umpiring crews into a common pool for AL and NL games, instead of having separate pools per league
  • Home field advantage in the World Series granted to the winner of the All Star Game in the same season (2003)
  • Transfer of Montreal Expos franchise to Washington, D.C., becoming the Washington Nationals (2004)
  • Stricter Major League Baseball performance-enhancing drug testing policy (2005)
  • World Baseball Classic (2006)
  • Instant replay used by umpiring crew to review disputed home run calls (2008)

During Selig's years of service, new stadiums have opened in Arizona, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Colorado, Detroit, Houston, Miami, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Arlington, St. Louis, Washington, D.C., Queens, The Bronx, and Minneapolis.

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