There is a popular line of thinking among statistically minded baseball fans that declares the manager more or less irrelevant. In the course of 162 games, over tens of thousands of pitches, the impact of his strategic decision making is statistically negligible compared to the inherent quality of his players and luck. Managers and coaches may alter a player's performance by instructing or motivating him particularly well or badly, but the effect is impossible to quantify. Miguel Cabrera would probably still be the best hitter in the world if his manager was Benjamin Netanyahu; the Houston Astros would probably still lose a hundred games if John McGraw was reincarnated to manage them.
In other words, the players play the game. They determine its content. The owners run the game. They determine its form. And just as a manager's performance is ultimately judged by factors out of his control, a commissioner's performance is ultimately determined by interests greater than his own. Which brings us to Bud Selig, the arch-commissioner who will—he swears—be stepping down in January 2015. This World Series feels like the unofficial start of his valedictory tour; it's time to consider his legacy.