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Selig weighs in on Bucs' recent success

| Monday, July 2, 2012, 9:40 p.m.
MLB commissioner Bud Selig

For the second year in a row, the Pirates are in the thick of the NL Central race as the season reaches its midpoint.

The players, coaches, front office and ownership share the credit for the franchise's changing fortunes.

Bud Selig would like to take a bow, too.

On Monday, the commissioner said changes to baseball's economic landscape during his tenure have given Pirates fans reason for optimism.

“If this was still the late ‘90s, this couldn't happen,” Selig said. “But it is happening today.

“The Pirates are really improved and really coming on. It's a manifestation of all the economic changes we've made — and all for the better, I might add.”

Selig was named acting commissioner in 1992 and was officially appointed to the post six years later.

Since then, Major League Baseball's revenues have increased 400 percent and its attendance figures have reached all-time highs.

Selig's most significant move was to implement revenue sharing, which last year led to a transfer of $400 million from larger- to smaller-revenue clubs.

According to documents leaked to the Associated Press in 2010, the Pirates got $34.4 million in 2007 and $32.1 million in 2008 from the revenue-sharing plan.

Rob Biertempfel is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at rbiertempfel@tribweb.com or 412-320-7811.

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