Commissioner Bud Selig has said for months that he plans to retire from Major League Baseball's highest post when his current term expires in 2012, and he reportedly made that clear to a group of owners who approached him about extending his tenure beyond that date.
The Chicago Tribune, citing sources, reported Saturday that a group of five owners approached Selig about remaining Commissioner beyond 2012, but he told them that he will indeed step aside, not because he is tired but because he has other things he wants to do.
Selig, named interim Commissioner in September 1992 and elected by the owners permanently six years later, was slated to retire at the end of this year. But owners extended his contract last year through Dec. 31, 2012.
Upon his 75th birthday on July 30, Selig made clear his intentions -- and that he expected owners would not believe him based on his previous turnabout on retirement.
"You guys have a right to kid me because I'm still around," Selig told MLB.com in a lengthy interview. "But this time I think everybody has the same understanding -- this time I'm done. I really am. I want to start writing a book. I don't have time while I'm doing this job, but I need to do that. I want to do some teaching. I did a little this past winter and I have some wonderful offers. God willing, on Dec. 31, 2012, you'll be saying goodbye to me."
Selig said that it would be "a year, year and a half" before he'd begin making any recommendations for his successor. He will be 78 when his term is up, and Selig reiterated his intentions in a Nov. 10 interview on "Studio 42 with Bob Costas" on MLB Network.
"It is," Selig said. "I know clubs don't believe it. I know a lot of others don't believe it. But I do want to write a book, meaningfully, on much that I have seen since 1963. I want to teach. I've had some wonderful teaching offers. I actually taught a [college] course last year. History of sports, particularly baseball 1960 to the present, you bet. I really want to do that, even though people don't necessarily believe me, because this has gone on and on; at age 78, it's time for somebody else, it's time for me hopefully in my remaining years to do some other things I want to do."
John Schlegel is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.