DETROIT -- Moments after presenting the World Series trophy to the San Francisco Giants, Commissioner Bud Selig confided he never expected to see the National League team sweep the powerful Detroit Tigers.
Then again, Selig added with a smile, maybe he should have.
"It was an upset. It was stunning. I don't know that too many people picked the Giants. Certainly nobody picked them to sweep," Selig said. "But it's sort of a manifestation of the whole year. There were so many surprises and so many interesting things that happened. So if I look back on it, I guess I should have been prepared for a surprise."
The Oakland A's, Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals played the role of Cinderella teams. Detroit's Miguel Cabrera won the Triple Crown. The second Wild Card spot in each league, added this year, gave fans in several cities a rooting interest that they would not have otherwise had. Each Division Series went the maximum five games. The Giants staved off elimination twice by winning three straight games and then took it all with a 4-3 victory in extra innings Sunday night at Comerica Park.
Selig said he is particularly proud of how well the additional Wild Card worked.
"Better than I could have hoped. ... Everybody said, 'Boy, you really orchestrated this.' No, I didn't," Selig said with a laugh. "I knew that it would be good. I was happy with it, but it worked out even better than I thought. It gives so much hope, especially in September, to so many other cities. So, yes, it worked out great. I'm glad we did it. It was tough. We had to [implement it at the last minute]. Next year it's going to work out better. It's going to work into the schedule better.
"It's been an amazing season. An amazing season from start to finish. I think of September and all the excitement at the end. And then October. It's really been remarkable in every way. Seasons have a lot of ups and downs, but great attendance, great economic success. And great success on the field. I'm very proud of everything that happened.
"I look forward to next year. It's sort of hard to believe. No ballgame to watch [Monday] night."
Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.