Bud Selig defiant

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 . . . .”

Video: Undercover David Ortiz drives a Lyft in Boston

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David Ortiz did one of those “Undercover Lyft” spots for, well, Lyft, in which famous people disguise themselves while driving passengers around. Yes, they’re ads, but they’re still pretty funny. At least this one was.

Best parts: (1) the woman who says she has two David Ortiz shirts to which Undercover Ortiz responds, “actually, all my shirts are his shirts”; and (2) when Ortiz agrees with someone that baseball games are “so loooong.” Oh, and at one point he tells a woman who said she was going to the Red Sox game that night that he was too. After he unmasked himself, she explains his own joke to him. Which, ooohhkay.

In other news, people who take Lyfts in Boston either don’t watch much baseball, because Ortiz’s costume is NOT very concealing, or else they simply don’t look at their Lyft driver while in the car, at all.

Scouting in Venezuela: “Someone is going to get killed. It’s just a matter of time”

MIAMI - MARCH 14:  Venezuela fans cheer with a country flag while taking on the Netherlands during round 2 of the World Baseball Classic at Dolphin Stadium on March 14, 2009 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
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Ben Badler of Baseball America has a story about how major league scouts who cover Venezuela are unhappy with the rules imposed upon them by the league. Rules, they say, which unreasonably prohibit them from scouting Venezuelan players in centralized, team-controlled locations or, alternatively, flying them to team facilities in the Dominican Republic or elsewhere.

The result: international scouts are forced to travel all over Venezuela to evaluate prospect. And, given how destabilized and dangerous Venezuela has become, they believe their safety is at risk:

“MLB’s rules that limit our ability to travel a Venezuelan guy to the Dominican Republic, that limit our ability to get them in a complex at different ages, all these rules are solely contributing to the risks that all of us are taking traveling from complex to complex, facility to facility in the streets,” said one international director. “Someone is going to get killed. It’s just a matter of time, and it’s on MLB when it happens, because they’re the ones who created these rules.”

As Badler notes, Major League Baseball itself has moved its annual national showcase out of the country due to safety concerns. It will not, however, relax scouting rules — which seem arbitrary on their surface in the first place — in order to make the job of international scouts safer.

It seems that Rob Manfred and the league owe their employees better than this. Or at the very least owe them an explanation why they don’t think they do.