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Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Bud Selig: The $22 million commish

By David Schoenfield

Question of the day: Would you rather have Bud Selig at $22 million or Vernon Wells at $24.6 million?

OK, I guess I'm supposed to be outraged that Selig will be offered a two-year extension, with compensation at more than $22 million annually, as Buster Olney reported. We're not supposed to like commissioners and be criticial of their decisions. Is $22 million a fair salary? Ridiculous? Hey, the MLB owners are the ones paying it, and they are happy enough with Selig that they keep asking him to remain in the job. Getting 30 owners with a wide range of goals to agree on anything isn't easy, but Selig's skills in this regard have been a key element of baseball's financial success the past decade.

Consider this:
Has Selig made some mistakes? Sure. He (and everyone else) turned a blind eye during the steroids era and it took too long to implement a drug-testing program. There was the All-Star Game tie fiasco (and the insistence on making the All-Star Game determine World Series home-field advantage). I haven't liked the way he's attempted to cap bonuses on draft picks. And there was a World Series cancelled under his watch. But baseball is thriving on the field -- where I believe the product is better than ever. And its thriving off the field like never before.

So, yes, $22 million and a private jet is it a lot to pay a commissioner. But at least he hasn't blocked any trades.