Being a commissioner of a high-profile major professional sports league is not easy. So, why shouldn’t the leader of a league whose players make an obscene amount of money be compensated appropriately?

Well, it all depends on how well they are doing their jobs, and the first step is in determining just what the measuring stick should be.

Specifically, in Major League Baseball, Bud Selig has led his sport through a period of relative labor peace, with one notable exception, and the teams’ revenue and attendance has increased exponentially while under his watch.

For that, Selig is the highest paid leader among the professional sports, according to Yahoo! Sports, bringing in just under $19 million a year.

That is believed to be almost double the salary of NFL’s leader Roger Goodell and the NBA’s David Stern (though the NBA does not publicly disclose the commissioner’s salary).

Gary Bettman, National Hockey League Commissioner, earned $7.2 million in salary last year, but that is another goofy compensation given the leagues’ relative lack of revenue and his own performance.

Meanwhile, should finances serve as the main arbiter in determining the success or failure of MLB‘s Grand Poobah?


I say “no” and here is why: There is the future of the sport to consider, and under Selig’s watch, that future is somewhat murky given the embarrassment that the steroid era has caused.


The cheating that occurred while Bud conveniently looked the other way, despite his ridiculous protests to the contrary, has led to a serious credibility issue.

This lack of credibility has made a mockery of the most sacred records in a sport in which stats are absolutely beloved and vital. 

The home run record, perhaps the most sacred in all of professional sports, is now a joke thanks to Barry Bonds, who ingested enough PEDs to kill many horses, in a jealous rage caused by the infamous Mark McGwire-Sammy Sosa saga in 1998.

Conveniently, Mr. Selig benefited from the public relations boost that the home run chase provided, something that was sorely needed after the cancellation of the World Series.

Which brings us to another embarrassing low point in the MLB’s Commissioner’s career: the strike in 1994 that led to the cancellation of the World Series—the first time that had happened since 1904.

While the wild card has been wildly successful, the introduction of interleague play has been somewhat controversial, as has been the World Baseball Classic.


The Mitchell Report, commissioned by Selig, concluded that the MLB commissioners, club officials, the Players Association, and the players all share “to some extent in the responsibility for the steroid era.”


Well, I would be willing to say that Selig specifically bears the brunt of the accountability.

In addition to artificially inflated ballplayers, inconsistent decisions have also plagued Selig’s legacy.

In 1993, New York Yankees owner George_Steinbrenner was reinstated from a lifelong suspension that was instituted by Selig’s predecessor Fay Vincent. Yet Pete Rose has applied for reinstatement over the years and received no such consideration.

Another embarrassing moment for Selig occurred during the 2002 All-Star Game in Selig’s hometown of Milwaukee.

Selig declared the game a tie, much to the chagrin of the fans, and this led to his stupid decision to have the All-Star game determine which league has home field advantage in the World Series.

Why the hell should something as important as that be determined by an exhibition game, especially after such a long season?

Despite those transgressions, it was the steroid explosion that occurred under Selig’s watch that has been the most damning evidence that the man has simply failed in his job.


Selig knew for a long time about the use, or at least the suspected use, of performance-enhancing drugs in his sport, yet did nothing until Congress forced his hand.

Congressman Cliff Stearns said in December 2007 that Selig should resign because of use of performance enhancing drugs in baseball during his tenure.

Despite this, there are only 10 players in the MLB that currently make more money than Selig, and he is signed through 2012.

Recognizing all this, it is easy to see why Selig is the very definition of ‘doing less with more.’ He should count his blessings that he even has a job, much less the highest paid job in sports.

Read more MLB news on