Thursday, January 17, 2008

Selig gets 3-year extension from MLB

Major League Baseball owners extended the contract of commissioner Bud Selig for three more years Thursday.

The deal was finalized at the owners' meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona, and will keep Selig on the job through 2012.

"My optimism about the future of Major League Baseball has never been greater," Selig said. "Through the hard work of many, our great game has made many meaningful strides. We have achieved unprecedented labor peace, competitive balance, record attendance, business performance and exciting international growth. I am truly grateful for the incredible fan interest that the game has inspired. This is a golden age for our national pastime.

"What will continue to be paramount to me is the protection of the integrity of the game. Major League Baseball unconditionally embraces its enormous social responsibilities. The sport faces important challenges, and we will not rest until they have been met."

Selig first took over as acting commissioner in September 1992 after Fay Vincent resigned. His 16-year tenure is highlighted by impressive financial growth. MLB revenues have grown from $1.2 billion in 1992 to $6.2 billion in 2007.

"In my 35 years in the game, baseball has never had better leadership than it does right now," Yankees principal owner George Steinbrenner said. "Bud's ability to bring people together has steered the game to remarkable popularity and prosperity, and I am very pleased that he will carry on as commissioner for the next five years."

Selig also has detractors, however, and his administration has been stained by the game's highly-publicized, performance-enhancing drug scandals as well as the players' strike in 1994, which wiped out the World Series.

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