Bud Selig Is Always About to Retire
The one problem? This isn't the first time Selig has claimed to be on his way out the door. A quick Google search turns up a 2006 article in which Selig claims that he'll happily retire in 2009 and references a prior claim by Selig in 2003 that he would retire in 2006. It also mentions that during his six years as acting commissioner, he repeatedly said he wouldn't take the job full-time. So Selig's been about to retire for nearly all of his 20 years at the helm of America's pastime.
The one thing that may set this retirement claim apart from past claims is Selig's age. He'll be 78 in 2012 and as much as he'd probably like to keep this job forever, it simply isn't possible. The owners have convinced him to stay on in the past, but it makes a lot of sense to choose a new commissioner at the beginning of a labor deal to give the new boss some time to learn the ropes when a strike or lockout isn't looming.
Of course, given his history with retirement, I'll believe Selig is actually stepping down only when someone else actually has the job, and not one minute before. No matter how much sense it would make for 2012 to be his last year.