Bud Selig: law school professor

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Last week I rather snobbishly lamented the fact that our dear Commissioner of Baseball is not, like many of his predecessors, particularly intellectually accomplished or trained. He was not, prior to taking office, a judge or senator or general or and Ivy League president.  But he has improved his resume a bit since I wrote that. He’s now a law professor:

Major League Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig has been named to the adjunct faculty at Marquette University Law School as distinguished lecturer in sports law and policy.

“Bud Selig is, without question, one of the most skilled and accomplished professionals in the sports industry today,” said Joseph D. Kearney, dean of Marquette Law School. “We are truly honored that he would commit his time to our students and grateful that he’s chosen our classrooms as a place to pass down his significant wisdom to the next generation of leaders.”

Bud has actually lectured there for a couple of years. It’s just now being formalized as, you know, a thing.

And he’s fun in class too!  I’ve been trying to track it down, but I can’t find it: last year, during a lecture at Marquette, someone who was in the class emailed me to tell me that Bud had actually let slip some piece of commissioner news. Like a positive drug test or something. The news was officially announced later in the day. So I guess what I’m saying is that, if you’re a law student at Marquette, sign up for Bud’s class and drop me a line if you hear anything good. Cool?

My take: Bud won’t even be the best law school professor who knows a bit about baseball.  My first law school class at George Washington University Law School was in August 1995. Civil Procedure, with Professor Jonathan Siegel.  It was, as a matter of fact, his first law school class too, as he had just been hired away from the DOJ. The first thing Professor Siegel did was to start reading from the Official Rules of Baseball, with the purpose of showing us that all games have rules, and that as far as litigation is concerned, civil procedure — which many 1L’s find maddening — are merely the rules of the game.  I don’t know if Professor Siegel still does that, but I kinda hope he does.  Certainly beats opening up the civil rules and starting with “Rule 3 . . . Commencing an Action . . . .”

Marcus Stroman named World Baseball Classic MVP

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United States starter Marcus Stroman was named Most Valuable Player of the World Baseball Classic after helping lead the U.S. to its first ever WBC title on Wednesday night in an 8-0 victory over Puerto Rico. Stroman flirted with a no-hitter through six innings, but gave up a double to lead off the seventh before being relieved by Sam Dyson.

Stroman also pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings against the Dominican Republic in Pool C play on March 11. He struggled in Pool F play against Puerto Rico last Friday, surrendering four runs in 4 2/3 innings.

The WBC MVP award understandably goes to a player of the winning team. However, Wladimir Balentien of the Netherlands deserves special mention. In 26 at-bats during the WBC, he hit a double and had a WBC-high four home runs, 12 RBI, and 12 runs scored while putting up a .615/.677/.1.115 batting line. That’s MVP-esque as far as this tournament is concerned.

U.S. blanks Puerto Rico 8-0 to win first World Baseball Classic title

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The United States handed Puerto Rico its first loss in the World Baseball Classic, winning 8-0 for its first title in the fourth iteration of the tournament.

Puerto Rico starter Seth Lugo was matching Marcus Stroman zero-for-zero through the first two innings, but the U.S. broke out for a pair of runs when Ian Kinsler deposited a two-run home run just beyond the fence in left-center at Dodger Stadium. The U.S. tacked on two more in the fifth on RBI singles from Christian Yelich and Andrew McCutchen, pushing the lead to 4-0.

Meanwhile, Stroman was dealing. The right-hander, normally seen in a Blue Jays uniform, held Puerto Rico hitless through his first six innings, giving up just a lone walk. The U.S. put together a long rally in the top of the seventh, scoring three runs on three hits, two walks, and a hit batter. Stroman came back out for the seventh but immediately served up a double down the left field line to Angel Pagan. U.S. manager Jim Leyland immediately lifted Stroman from the game, bringing in Sam Dyson who escaped the inning without any further damage.

Pat Neshek allowed a leadoff single to Yadier Molina to begin the eighth, but induced a double-play, then worked around a two-out walk by striking out Kenny Vargas to end the frame.

In the ninth, David Robertson took over. He induced an infield pop-up from Enrique Hernandez. After Pagan singled up the middle, Francisco Lindor sharply grounded out to Eric Hosmer at first base for the second out. Finally, Robertson closed it out, inducing Carlos Correa to ground out to third base, making the U.S. 8-0 victors over Puerto Rico to win the World Baseball Classic.

Puerto Rico had an admirable run, defeating Venezuela, Mexico, and Italy to get out of Pool D undefeated. Then, in Pool F, it beat Venezuela again as well as the U.S. and the Dominican Republic to move to the semifinals. It narrowly edged Netherlands 4-3 in the semifinals to get into the finals.

The U.S. lost to the D.R. but beat Canada and Colombia to get out of Pool C. In Pool F, the U.S. lost to Puerto Rico and defeated the D.R again as well as Venezuela. The U.S. took down Japan in the semifinals to advance to the finals to play Puerto Rico.

The U.S. joins Japan (twice, 2006 and ’09) and the Dominican Republic (2013) as countries to win the World Baseball Classic. The 2017 tournament was a rousing success, setting attendance records, drawing over one million fans to ballparks to take in the games. It will hopefully encourage commissioner Rob Manfred and others to make a concerted effort to make the 2021 tournament bigger and better.