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01/10/12 5:15 PM EST
Sources: Selig's contract to be extended
By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- Commissioner Bud Selig's contract is expected to be extended for two more years through the end of the 2014 season, multiple sources told MLB.com on Tuesday.
The matter will be discussed with Selig, Major League Baseball's ninth Commissioner, during the first quarterly ownership meetings of the year on Wednesday and Thursday at the Sanctuary in Paradise Valley, Ariz.
Since the matter is not on the official agenda for Thursday morning's joint ownership meeting, it will be added for a vote under unanimous consent if Selig agrees to the extension. The approval must be unanimous under this procedure, and the executive council also would need to sanction the extension at its meeting on late Wednesday afternoon.
Selig said in 2008 when his contract was extended through 2012 that this would be his last term and since then publicly has maintained that position. He will be 78 years old this year. But like in late 2007 and early 2008, a group of owners has led a move for Selig to remain in office.
The recently completed Basic Agreement, which will give the sport labor peace through the 2016 season, was part of the impetus for the draft movement. MLB's financial health is also a major consideration. When Selig became interim Commissioner in 1992, MLB had gross revenues of about $1 billion. Under Selig's watch, that figure has been multiplied by nearly eight times.
Selig replaced Fay Vincent on an interim basis on Sept. 9, 1992. He was formally given the post on July 7, 1998, and just finished his 19th full season as Commissioner. That run is second only to the 24 years served by Kenesaw Mountain Landis, baseball's first Commissioner, who was hired in 1920 in the wake of the Black Sox scandal and died in office in 1944.
At the time Selig became interim Commissioner, he was the owner of the Milwaukee Brewers and his family has since divested itself of the franchise. Mark Attanasio purchased the Brewers in 2004.
Under his watch, Selig won approval for Interleague Play prompting a move of the Brewers from the American League to National League in 1998, the three-division format and a Wild Card berth in each league, the unbalanced schedule, worldwide recognition of the sport, performance-enhancing drug testing of Major League players beginning in 2003, and home-field advantage in the World Series for the winning league in the All-Star Game.
Even more recently as part of the latest labor agreement, the Astros will move from the NL to the AL effective for the 2013 season. Also, MLB will add two more Wild Cards teams -- one in each league -- plus a one game play-in game.
MLB has until March 1 to tell the Players Association whether it wants to commence the new playoff format this coming season.