OAKLAND (CBS Sports/AP) — Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said Thursday that he plans to retire in January 2015.
The 79-year-old Selig’s announcement came just one day after an interview with CBS Sports Radio in which he had some harsh words when it came to the ballpark woes of the Oakland Athletics. The Coliseum in Oakland has run into raw sewage issues on more than one occasion this season.
“It’s a pit,” Selig said. “It reminds me of old County Stadium and Shea Stadium. We need to deal with that. I’ve had a committee working on it for two or three years, and there’s no question we’re going to have to solve that problem.”
Selig’s committee has been looking at the A’s stadium issue for a long time, so what’s the hold-up?
It’s a complicated situation, Selig said, but the basic issue is the A’s want to move to San Jose and build a new stadium, but the San Francisco Giants technically “own” that territory.
“Look, you have one team that wants to move and the other team doesn’t want them to move, and it’s a very complicated situation. Before I leave, I’m satisfied we’ll work out something,” said Selig, in an apparent reference to his retirement – which he has repeatedly said in recent years was imminent.
But Thursday marked the first time Selig issued a formal statement and set a timeline for exiting the commissioner’s office.
He said he would announce a transition plan shortly that will include a reorganization of central baseball management.
Selig entered the professional baseball scene when he bought the Seattle Pilots in bankruptcy court in 1970 and moved the team to Milwaukee. He was part of a group that also forced then-commissioner Fay Vincent’s resignation.
Selig took over as acting commissioner on Sept. 9, 1992, in his role as chairman of the executive council. He repeatedly said he would not take the job full time but was formally elected commissioner July 9, 1998. He agreed to new contracts in 2001, 2004, 2008 and 2012.
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