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.
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).