How did Bud do it?

August 1, 2012, 3:42 pm
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Bud Selig says he will retire after the 2014 season, which we believe to be a recurring whopper. That, though, isnt the cool thing.The cool thing is that he said he wants to teach and write a book. And while I have no faith at all that he would choose me to be his hagiographer . . . er, ghost writer, I do want to take that course.I want to know what he thought when Joe Torre and Bob Brenly came up him in that All-Star Game and said, We ran out of pitchers, and what are you going to do about it? I want to know how he continually enraged the Internet coven and still managed to stay more lovable than Roger Goodell, David Stern and Gary Bettman. I want to know how he managed to guide the quintupling of MLB revenues while mastering the overflowing hamper fashion statement. I want him to explain territorial rights without invoking the names James Monroe, Emperor Franz Joseph or Walter OMalley. I want to know how he not only kept the 30 owners from eating each other but became an eight-figure a year employee while doing it.And I dont want to read it in the book, where he has editorial control, but I want him in the classroom, leather patches on his coats and whiteboard marker stains on his short-sleeved white shirts, explaining it all.I want him to tell us about the letters C as in contraction, and E as in expansion, and R as in Reinsdorf, and L as in Loria. I want him to show us how an avowed purist caused interleague play, moved teams from league to league, expanded playoffs twice, and how to monetize the Internet. I want him to explain how Major League Baseball sued to gain sole control of the numbers of baseball and, after losing, profited madly from their use by others.I want him to explain how to sell a used car, a bad team to a rich guy, and an imaginary committee to an entire region of fans and get them to buy it for four years.That last one, I definitely want to take as an extra-credit class.I mean, as near as I can tell, he picked a unicorn, a sasquatch, a UFO and D.B. Cooper and convinced them to become a blue ribbon panel to study the Bay Area baseball situation. And the longer nothing happened, the longer people believed in it. He put together a mythical panel, never had the stones to even fabricate a report, then decided the Giants and As had to barter out a bribe schedule all while getting people to believe the committee did exist and was tackling a problem thornier than the Middle East.So, yeah, I want to know how he clones sheep without any sheep DNA.And I definitely want the seminar on how not to know about PEDs in 2000 after being warned about them in 1988 with all the other owners. I will absolutely play double the class fee for the steroid lecture series alone.I surely want him to preview his Hall of Fame induction speech, especially if he goes in with Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.And I really dont give a damn what grade I get, because even if his lessons are filled with historical anomalies and legacy-protecting errata, I think he could sell of it the entire, inconsistent, head-scratching, logic-defying lot.Because lets be honest, Bud Selig is a natural teacher. He can hold a classroom even while the class is furiously tweeting to their friends about what a tool the instructor is. He just has this way of sucking you in even when hes arguing that expanded replay is both bad and good at the same time. He looks fearless while constantly having a wet finger pointed into the sky to monitor the wind.He is, in short, a freaking genius. The kind of guy who has tenure as an owner, a commissioner, and with any luck, a teacher too.And I want to be part of that first class, as soon as I take a second out on the house to cover tuition. After all, its college in the new millennium, and you need the money of a drug lord to stay long enough to earn a degree these days.Or maybe I can get a McCourt Scholarship. After all, a man whom Bud turned from a hundredaire to a billionaire while being hated by Bud all the same owes a debt to the business. Thats another lesson Im ready to learn, as soon as I can get Pat Courtney, the professor's aide, to send me a class schedule.Ray Ratto is a columnist for