Selig unanimously granted two-year extension

Selig unanimously granted two-year extension

Selig unanimously granted two-year extension
PHOENIX -- Commissioner Bud Selig's two-year contract extension through the 2014 season became official on Monday, 10 days after approval was granted by Major League Baseball's ownership at their first joint quarterly meeting of the year.

The vote, which couldn't legally be revealed until Monday, was 30-0.

"It is a great honor to have the unanimous support of the clubs," Selig said on Monday. "I am thankful for their confidence, and I look forward to representing and continuing the remarkable growth of this great game in the years ahead."

Because of a procedural issue, there could not be a full vote count of the owners on the contract extension for that 10-day period. Talk of the extension crystallized early during the week of the meetings, but there wasn't enough time to place it on the formal agenda for the Jan. 12 joint session.

Selig needed at least 75 percent for the extension to pass. He had that figure on Jan. 12, but the vote tally could not be officially announced until Monday, as owners had the 10-day period to return their ballots.

Selig is Major League Baseball's ninth Commissioner and had one more year to go on his current term, which has now been extended to Dec. 31, 2014. Selig, now 77, will be 80 years old at the time it ends.

Selig was the owner of the Milwaukee Brewers, the team he helped purchase and move from Seattle in 1970, when he became interim Commissioner. His family has since divested itself of the franchise. Mark Attanasio purchased the Brewers in 2004.

Under Selig's watch, the owners have concluded the last three labor agreements with the players without a work stoppage. The current Basic Agreement, signed late last year, extends through the 2016 season and will give the sport 21 years of labor peace.

Among his other accomplishments, Selig won approval for Interleague Play, prompting a move of the Brewers from the American League to National League in 1998, plus the creation of three divisions and a Wild Card playoff berth in each league. He also led the way for the current unbalanced schedule, the World Baseball Classic and international recognition of the sport, performance-enhancing drug testing of Major League players beginning in 2003, and the awarding of home-field advantage in the World Series to the winning league in the All-Star Game, also starting in 2003.

As part of the latest labor agreement, the Astros will move from the NL to the AL prior to the 2013 season. Also, MLB will add two more Wild Card teams, making for two in each league, with a one-game playoff to advance to the postseason.

MLB has until March 1 to tell the MLB Players Association whether it wants to commence the new format this coming season.

Barry M. Bloom is national reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.