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Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Sports Prediction for the New Year

A random prediction for the new year: George W. Bush will be the next Commissioner of Major League Baseball.

Current Commissioner Bud Selig announced earlier this month that he will retire when his contract expires at the end of 2009 (although apparently, back in in 2003 he said the same thing about retiring in 2006, so stay tuned). Bush will be out of a job at 12:01 p.m. on January 20, 2009. And he will need something to do, since one cannot imagine him monitoring foreign elections and fighting world health battles.

Baseball commissioner always has been a job that has attracted people from politics and public service. Commissioner A.B. "Happy" Chandler served as Kentucky's Governor and U.S. Senator both before and after his term in baseball. Chief Justice Fred Vinson considered resigning from the Supreme Court to take the job after Chandler's term ended in 1951. Names such as Mario Cuomo and George Mitchell have surfaced in the past as potential candidates. And, of course, Bush used to own the Texas Rangers, so he combines a political background with baseball-insider status, which would make him very appealing to the owners.

And there is the fact that this may be the job Bush wanted all along. Recall that Commissioner Fay Vincent was forced out of the job in 1992 by an owners' vote of no confidence and replaced, on an "interim" basis, by Selig, then owner of the Milwaukee Brewers. This move was the prelude to the owners' hard-line stance in the 1994 players' strike that forced the cancellation of the 1994 World Series and a one-month delay in the start of the 1995 season. And a search for a permanent commissioner went along. According to Vincent's 2002 book, The Last Commissioner, Bush let both Selig and Vincent (who was a friend of Papa and Barbara Bush) of his interest in the job. Selig purportedly told Bush that he was "his man but that it will take some time to work out." At the same time, Bush was considering running for governor of Texas. With the clock ticking (and Vincent suspecting, ultimately not incorrectly, that Selig wanted the job for himself), Bush gave up on the commissioner's job and ran for public office. He won the Texas governorship in 1994 and the rest, as they say, is history.

It would be an interesting turn for Bush to get his dream job--17 years, and many world events, later.


Will he take Richard Cheney with him?

Anonymous Richard Mock -- 12/27/2006 1:16 PM  

That would be very interesting indeed if President Bush became commissioner. Its something I have never thought of, but it makes perfect sense. Remember when Paul Tagliabue retired and rumours were going around the Jeb Bush would be the next NFL commish? Wouldn't that be interesting if that had happened and Dubya took over baseball. Hmmm......

Anonymous Anonymous -- 12/29/2006 2:13 AM  

Would he be able to deal with only three months vacation per year?

Anonymous Dave -- 12/16/2007 3:12 PM  

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