Bud Selig might soon be in the Baseball Hall of Fame (try to contain your excitement)

Bud Selig never won any popularity contests as commissioner of Major League Baseball. The best thing that could be said about Selig’s tenure, which began on an interim basis in 1992, became permanent in 1998, and lasted until February 2015, was that baseball’s revenues improved dramatically during it, going from $2 billion to $9 billion.That alone is probably enough to get 82-year-old Selig into the Baseball Hall of Fame, overlooking his role in the 1994 strike or stopping the 2002 All Star Game or, in general, having all the charisma of a used car salesman. His selection could be coming in a few months, with the least-anticipated Hall of Fame speech in recent memory as early as next summer. (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/c0/5c/bud-selig-070916-ftr-gettyjpg_70apgr79buoz1u2gxarf6984d.jpg?t=-797535923&w=500&quality=80 MORE: Nine of the worst All-Star Game performances (including Bud!) Honoring commissioners is a fairly joyless and perfunctory task for the Hall of Fame. All a commissioner has to do to make Cooperstown is last more than a few years on the job and demonstrate he’s not another Spike Eckert or Peter Ueberroth. Even short-lived commissioner Happy Chandler got in for helping Jackie Robinson break baseball’s color barrier.It’s generally more a matter of when than if commissioners get in the Hall of Fame. Selig’s call looks to be coming since the Hall of Fame announced revisions in July to the structure for its Era Committees, which consider players retired more than 15 years as well as managers, umpires and executives.Selig falls under the newly created Today’s Game Committee, which will meet in December. Because of the rules of the committee and the period it covers, Selig could wind up highlighting a weak ballot this year. He could also help highlight an issue with the new Era Committee structure.Cooperstown chances: 90 percentWhy: In announcin

g the changes to its Era Committes, the Hall of Fame said it was primarily looking to honor more contemporary players.Hence, it set up an Early Days Committee that will meet once every 10 years, reviewing players, umpires, managers, and executives who made their greatest contribution before 1950; a Golden Days Committee that will meet once every five years, spanning 1950 to 1969; and a Modern Era Committee, spanning 1970 to 1987 and a Today’s Game Committee, spanning 1988 to present, that will each meet twice every five years. Each committee can consider 10 candidates per election.The hitch is determining where players made their greatest contribution and what committee they should be considered by. It’s uncertain how the Hall of Fame is going to do this, though there’s already talk Dick Allen could make the Modern Era Committee ballot a year from now.If the Hall of Fame is a little loose in determining eras for candidates, it could have a robust Today’s Game Committee ballot this fall made up of first-time eligible candidates like Alan Trammell, Lou Whitaker, and Don Mattingly. It could say Jack Morris’s complete game victory in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series means he made his greatest contribution in the most recent era, even if baseball researcher Adam Darowski said 61 percent of Morris’s career games came before 1988.Darowski made a good point recently-- if the Hall of Fame is strict, this fall’s ballot for the Today’s Game Committee could be fairly slim. Meanwhile, the first Modern Era Committee ballot could wind up not having enough space for all the players who aren’t in the Hall of Fame but have their supporters, players like Bobby Grich, Dwight Evans, and Ted Simmons.So what might the ballot for the Today’s Game Committee look like this fall if Trammell, Whitaker, Mattingly et al. are forced to wait a year? Here’s a possible ballot:Harold Baines, player;Joe Carter, player;Will Clark, player;Orel Hershiser, player;Davey Johnson, manager;Jim Leyland, manager;Mark McGwire, player;Bret Saberhagen, player;John Schuerholz, executive;Bud Selig, executive.Dwight Gooden and Albert Belle could rate consideration as well, though each has had enough personal problems and had short enough careers they seem unlikely candidates. A few other names to keep an eye on: Brett Butler, Willie McGee and Dennis Martinez.Regardless, there’s just not much to get excited about with any potential ballot this year, aside from McGwire potentially becoming the first admitted steroid user in Cooperstown. Big Mac could fare better with a Hall of Fame committee than the Baseball Writers' Association of America, where he peaked at 23.7 percent of the vote. The baseball establishment, after all, has been more progressive in dealing with steroid users than the BBWAA has.MORE: The worst Baseball Hall of Fame selections everStill, McGwire isn’t hugely likely to get in Cooperstown this fall, since the Hall of Fame doesn’t move quickly in dealing with controversial issues. McGwire’s case could gather steam as more Steroid Era candidates become eligible, but that’s going to take several years.In the meanwhile, what else to make of the possible Today’s Game Committee ballot? Baines came close to 3,000 hits and is one of the better designated hitters in baseball history but nearly ranks as a below average player by sabermetrics.Carter might figure as a dark horse candidate, an RBI force who will always have Game 6 of the 1993 World Series. By sabermetrics, though, he’s worse than Baines. Carter’s -11 Wins Above Average lifetime would be the worst by a Hall of Fame position player, by a wide margin.Clark’s an interesting case, hitting .303 lifetime with a 137 OPS+. That OPS+ would put him ahead of first basemen in Cooperstown like Bill Terry, George Sisler, and Eddie Murray. The knocks against Clark? He played just 15 years, was rude to sportswriters, and might have been racist.As for the rest of the possible ballot, Saberhagen and Hershiser were both brilliant early on, but faltered later. Leyland and Johnson could stick around the ballot many years but aren’t shoo-ins, since the Hall of Fame doesn’t enshrine many managers. Lou Piniella’s another possibility, but falls into the same class as Leyland or Johnson and might not make a small ballot.John Schuerholz built the Atlanta Braves into a contender in the 1990s as their general manager and still serves as chairman of the team at 76. The Hall of Fame rule changes last month included allowing executives older than 70 but still working to be inducted, a rule change made perhaps with Schuerholz in mind. That said, the Hall of Fame is even more fickle and unpredictable with executives than it is with managers.This leaves Selig. Try not to get too excited, America.