Bud Selig formally announces his retirement. What’s next?

MLB Commissioner Bud Selig formally announced today that he will retire upon the completion of his current term, which runs through January 24, 2015.

Selig, baseball’s interim commissioner from 1992-98 before assuming his current title, had made similar statements in the past. Today’s announcement, though it comes as little surprise, is the most formal he’s made. It carries important implications for the future of the game.

Under Selig, Major League Baseball witnessed unprecedented financial growth while surviving a number of scandals — a players’ strike that wiped out the 1994 World Series, rampant performance-enhancing drug use that many believe tainted baseball’s record books, and a wave of PED-related suspensions just this year for a dozen players who never failed a drug test.

“No Commissioner has faced greater challenges in defending and growing the game, not even Judge Landis,” MLB historian John Thorn said, referring to Kenesaw Mountain Landis, baseball’s first commissioner from 1920-44.

Former Dodgers manager Joe Torre is an unlikely choice to succeed Selig, writes Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan, though there is no clear-cut choice for baseball’s next commissioner. There’s a broad list of candidates that includes everyone from a former president (George W. Bush) to a former Dodgers public relations director (Derrick Hall, the Arizona Diamondbacks’ President).

The process of choosing the next commissioner has 15 months to play out.

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About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.