Outgoing Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig says politics are a “necessary” part of his job.
Selig, who announced his retirement last fall, told “UpFront with Mike Gousha” his love of politics helped him work with team owners as he navigated controversies that included player strikes, doping scandals and new stadiums. He said his approach allowed him to accomplish a great deal over the course of his 22-year career as commissioner.
“A great part of my job is political skill; some of my predecessors didn’t understand that,” the former Milwaukee Brewers owner said on the program, produced in partnership with WisPolitics.com .
In addition to navigating the end to the player strikes in which the league was embroiled when Selig took office in 1992, he has also faced political decisions in his home state. In keeping with the MLB’s stricter penalties for doping, introduced during his tenure, Selig imposed sanctions on Milwaukee Brewers star Ryan Braun after Braun tested positive for performance enhancing drugs.
“The strength of the program is in enforcement. You cannot have a tough program if you don’t enforce it,” Selig said. “I learned long ago, when I took this job, I had to understand the Brewers would be treated like anyone else.”
Although Selig described the process of building Milwaukee’s Miller Park with public tax dollars as “bruising” and “painful,” he said the stadium made Milwaukee a better place and improved the quality of life in the city, in addition to the revenue generated. But Selig declined to comment on the situation faced by the Milwaukee Bucks, who are angling for a new downtown arena.
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