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 . . . .”

Report: Braves extend Kurt Suzuki

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Kurt Suzuki will wear a Braves’ uniform through the 2018 season after signing a one-year, $3.5 million extension with the club on Saturday, per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. Rosenthal adds that the two had been in talks for weeks and Suzuki made it clear that he wanted to remain in Atlanta for the foreseeable future. The team has yet to announce the extension.

Suzuki, 33, initially signed a one-year contract with the Braves back in January. The veteran backstop stepped into a backup role behind starting catcher Tyler Flowers, but still found a way to impress at the plate with a .271/.343/.525 batting line, career-best 18 home runs and an .868 OPS through 287 PA. According to FanGraphs, Suzuki’s 2.2 fWAR makes 2017 his most valuable season since his run with the 2009 Athletics.

It’s a prudent move for the Braves, who would have lost one of their most dynamic second-half hitters to the free agent market this offseason. Entering Saturday, Suzuki is second only to Freddie Freeman with 11 homers and 1.4 fWAR since the All-Star break. His stunning comeback also confirmed the team’s decision to look outside the organization for a backup catcher, rather than turning to fellow veteran Anthony Recker behind the plate.

“On a personal level, this season exceeded my expectations,” Suzuki told reporters on Wednesday. “It’s just one of those things I can’t explain. I put a lot of work in and really didn’t have a job until late January. I got an opportunity here and took advantage of it. It was definitely a good fit.”

Mikie Mahtook is likely done for the season

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Tigers’ outfielder Mikie Mahtook is unlikely to play again this season, club manager Brad Ausmus announced Saturday. Mahtook was diagnosed with a Grade 2 left groin strain following Friday’s series opener against the Twins, when he appeared to injure himself after chasing down Byron Buxton‘s two-RBI double in the fourth.

This is the second time Mahtook has sustained a groin injury over the past month. The 27-year-old exited Friday’s game with a .276/.330/.457 batting line, 12 home runs and a .787 OPS through 379 plate appearances with the team.

With the Tigers out of contention, there’s no reason to trot out Mahtook for the remaining eight games of the regular season. The club has yet to specify a timetable for his return, but there’s no reason to believe he won’t be in fine shape to compete for a starting role next spring.