Behind The Scenes

ESPN’s Karl Ravech pays tribute to retiring MLB Commissioner, Bud Selig

MLB Commissioner Bud Selig (Photo courteesy of MLB)
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig (Courtesy of MLB)

On Thursday, Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said he plans to retire in January 2015. Twenty-year ESPN veteran, Karl Ravech, host of ESPN’s Baseball Tonight, has built a strong relationship with Selig over the course of his career.

Here, in a special entry for Front Row, Ravech offers his thoughts on Selig’s planned retirement:

The Commissioner and I have enjoyed many a conversation over the past 20 years, some friendly, others contentious, but all productive. There is no greater quality in a leader than to be able to take different factions with individual agendas and provide them a roadmap to consensus. Commissioner Selig is a master of consensus building.

Karl Ravech (ESPN Images)
Karl Ravech (ESPN Images)

As a great guard of history and baseball’s vital role in American culture, I can say unequivocally that there is no greater supporter and fan of the sport than Bud Selig. I believe through all the speed bumps, some self-created, others beyond his control, Bud leaves the game in a much better state than when he took control.

His last move, deciding on a succession plan, may be as significant as any he has made.

As for retiring in 2015, I will believe it when I see it.

Ravech is part of tonight’s SportsCenter Special: Exit Sandman, a one hour special on Mariano Rivera (ESPN, 7 p.m. ET).

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