Bud Selig will get a $6 million a year pension. Which is obscene.


Buster Olney reports that Bud Selig will get $6 million a year in annual compensation after he steps down as MLB commissioner next month.

Which is utterly insane.

Nothing personal to Selig, but this is a completely gratuitous parachute for a guy who has made, like, $100 million in salary alone and who, after he retires, will perform basically zero duties for Major League Baseball. He will not be “an ambassador” or anything like that. Baseball has hundreds of better ones in former players and managers. He will not serve in some advisory role of any substance, as doing so will only undermine a successor whose biggest challenge, as it is, is to gain the confidence of the owners. No, Selig is going to get that $6 million a year for doing jack squat.

Meanwhile, minor leaguers are paid sub-minimum wages, most front office staff are paid far below market rates and every worthy charity Major League Baseball supports could use the money a damn well bit more than Selig can.

But this isn’t just about Selig. Indeed, it’s nothing personal against him. By all accounts he’s a nice and thoughtful man who will spend his retirement well, teaching, studying and writing about history and enjoying baseball games. He’s a true fan and he has made no secret of his scholarly disposition and ambitions. I’m sure he’ll find some good uses for that money.

What makes no sense, however, is how often we see these sorts of payouts to former business leaders — even disgraced ones — and no one seems to pay them any mind, no one seems to question them and no one ever even bothers to attemp to justify them. Indeed, we just accept them as part of the business landscape. As if there is no other way things could be done and is if it’s not obscene in and of itself.

The closest we’ll hear to some justification is some weak case that a business has to do this sort of thing in order to attract future leaders. Which is nonsense, of course. It’s not as if Rob Manfred is going to quit tomorrow and go work as a Wal-Mart greeter because he only has tens of millions in salary coming to him as opposed to tens of millions and a sweet pension 20 years from now. Major League Baseball — a business whose very essence is about paying office employees (and players when they can get away with it) way, way, way below their actual worth because the allure of being close to baseball allows it to do so — is not going to lack for quality leadership if they don’t hand out golden parachutes.

Of course, no one will hold them to account for this. We live in a country that doesn’t bat an eye at millions paid to the executive class for literally doing nothing while we neglect working people and the poor and, in some cases, attack them for taking handouts that amount to a few hundred dollars a year. They’re “deadbeats” for demanding a living wage or needing some help feeding their children. They’re communists if they want to organize in order to improve their conditions. But Bud Selig is a hero who deserves that money and will be lionized even more than he already has been.

It says a lot about us as a country that this sort of thing happens. In this particular case it says that the 30 owners who approved this either think a man deserves an insane amount of money to sleep late and build ships in bottles in his retirement or they believe that, in reality, $6 million is not all that much money to give a person of a certain type.

I’m not sure which is worse.

Nationals blow 6-run lead, rebound to beat Phillies 8-7

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WASHINGTON (AP) Lane Thomas singled in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning and the Washington Nationals sent the Philadelphia Phillies to their fifth straight loss, winning 8-7 after blowing a six-run lead.

The defending NL champion Phillies have just five victories in their last 18 games and are tied with the Nationals at the bottom of the NL East at 25-32.

“We’ve got to overcome it,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said. “We’ve got to play better, get consistent in all phases and keep moving forward.”

Alex Call drew a two-out walk against Connor Brogdon (2-1) in the eighth, stole second on a low pitch that catcher JT Realmuto couldn’t make a throw on and scored on Thomas’ single to right center.

“The way Lane’s swinging the bat, if you can get on second base, we can win the game,” Call said. “I look over and the ball’s in the dirt, he doesn’t catch it. Now I’m saying: ‘All right, Lane. Come on!’”

Kyle Finnegan (3-2) pitched 1 2/3 innings for the victory, stranding the tying run on second in the ninth.

Nick Castellanos homered twice, singled, doubled and drove in five runs for Philadelphia, which had scored just three runs in its past three games.

“There’s definitely a lot of positives as a group,” Castellanos said. “Showing some fight. It would have been really, really easy to lay down and allow the way the game started to be the way that it finished.”

Down 7-1 after four innings, Philadelphia tied it at 7 in the eighth. Brandon Marsh worked a nine-pitch walk against Mason Thompson leading off, and Drew Ellis singled with one out. Finnegan came on to face Kyle Schwarber, who hit a ground ball up the middle. Shortstop CJ Abrams fielded it behind it behind second base, touched second for one out, but threw wildly to first and Marsh came home with the tying run.

Castellanos’s second homer, a two-run shot to center in the sixth, pulled the Phillies to 7-3 and Marsh added an RBI single in the inning.

In the seventh, Schwarber doubled with one out and Bryson Scott reached on an infield single. Hunter Harvey came on and walked Bryce Harper to load the bases. Castellanos singled to center scoring two runs to make it 7-6.

Luis Garcia homered and Jeimer Candelario doubled twice and drove in three runs for the Nationals, who have won seven of 12.

Philadelphia starter Zack Wheeler, coming off eight shutout innings against Atlanta, allowed seven runs on eight hits in 3 2/3 innings.

“This one’s on me really,” Wheeler said. “Guys battled back. Just couldn’t finish it out. We know who we have in this room and what we’ve got to do.”

Josiah Gray gave up four runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings for Washington.

Candelario doubled just beyond the reach of left fielder Schwarber to drive in the first of Washington’s two runs in the first.

In the second, Abrams hit a one-out drive to deep center that Marsh misplayed into a double. With two outs and two on, Candelario doubled off the wall in right center to make it 5-0.

Garcia ended Wheeler’s night with a solo homer in the fourth.

“When you come out the way we did, you’ve got to tack on,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “It didn’t happen tonight, but we got one more than the other guys.”


Candelario is 9 for 26 (.346) with four doubles, a home run, nine RBIs, five walks, and seven runs scored in his last seven games.


Phillies: Thomson said RHP Taijuan Walker played catch Friday and there are “no worries about his next start.” In a four-inning outing against the Mets on Thursday, Walker’s sinker velocity averaged 90.6 mph, down from 92.7 mph for the season. His fastball, splitter and curveball velocity also dropped.

Nationals: OF Victor Robles (back spasms) took batting practice on the field for the first time since going on the injured list. … LHP Sean Doolittle (elbow) gave up a run on two hits and struck out two batters in 2/3 of an inning working his second straight night for Class A Fredericksburg.


Phillies: LHP Matt Strahm (4-3, 3.20) will start a bullpen game on Saturday.

Nationals: LHP MacKenzie Gore (3-3, 3.57) went seven innings and struck out a career-high 11 batters in his previous outing – a no decision against the Royals.

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports