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Baseball: Tapping into Bud’s thoughts

By Gene Collier
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
We now present our own experimental media invasion, Thought Thieving Thursday, in which we secretly tap into the brains of baseball executives in evident states of agitation.
Don’t ask how we’ve done it. All I can say is it involves a cell phone, three to five outed CIA operatives, a Slinky, and some Tabasco.
Our subject, happily enough, is baseball commissioner Bud Selig, and the results come straight from his flowing panic as Tuesday’s All-Star Game became Wednesday’s All-Star Game, meaning the second tie in six years was perhaps just one reluctant pitcher away, two at the most. When there is trouble at the All-Star Game few people not currently linked with al-Qaeda are as destabilizing a figure as Bud Selig, and with the game in its 15th inning on the upswing of 2 a.m. Wednesday morning, insomniacs coast to coast wondered what thunderclouds were banging together in Bud’s brain.
Last time, he called it after 11 innings, declared a tie (in baseball?), then restored “urgency” to the annual exhibition by awarding home-field advantage in the World Series to the winning league. This is something like setting oil prices by the three digits in the daily number, except that makes more sense.
So here are Bud’s thoughts, and, as ever, no need to thank me.
FIFTH INNING:
Is that Madonna sitting with the mayors there, between Bloomberg and Guliani? Tell me that’s not Madonna. God. Somebody tell her A-Rod’s out of the game already. Yeah, two at-bats. Thanks a lot. What’s his All-Star bonus, about $250,000? Oh that’s right, the Yankees don’t give All-Star bonuses. They just give everybody $209 million and call it even. Shrewd.
EIGHTH INNING
Next year I’m starting this at 7:05, swear to God. The National League has about as much chance of hanging on to a 3-2 lead for six more outs as I have of being Miss Brazil. It’s just as well. If it ends like this Miguel Tejada will have scored the winning run, and he was to George Mitchell what Huck Finn was to Twain.
And that’s not what I thought Eva Longoria looked like.
11TH INNING
Little single here by Drew ought to end this. C’mon. There it is! Here comes ó who’s that, Navarro? ó around third and this throw from some obscure Pirate will be late, right? RIGHT?! Oh God, kill me now. Right now. Nate McLouth guns him down? Who the hell is Nate McLouth?
12TH INNING
That concession stand dog I had in the seventh was the best thing I’ve eaten in three weeks. Seriously.
This isn’t going to end in a tie. Just isn’t. I don’t care if I have to pitch myself. Where’s that guy who pitched to Hamilton in the Home Run Derby? Run him out there. No seriously, we are going to run out of pitchers again. Just like in ’02. Joe Torre screwed me in that one. “Oh no, we can’t have our precious pitchers extended.”
Before I’m dead, this game will be played with pitching machines. Pitchers will get paid, but not actually pitch. Too dangerous. That Giants kid, Lincecum, he’s in the hospital right now. One more inning and I’m sending an ambulance for him.
Is it too much to ask that someone pitches three innings? Oh there, Cook just finished his third inning. He’ll obviously have to be hospitalized. We’ll just have him hop in the ambulance that brings Lincecum.
Here’s Uggla with the bases loaded. C’mon Dan, a simple double into the corner. Swing and a freaking miss. Bring me the head of Daniel Cooley Uggla.
13TH INNING
If Bonds were here, this wouldn’t be happening. Barry’d get us out of here. Nobody’ll give him even the minimum. But McLouth is here. Maybe McLouth can pitch. Kid’s got an arm. Wouldn’t want to say that out loud. The Pirates might do it. God, somebody hit one out. It’s 318 feet down the left-field line, 314 to right in this dump. Get me a bat.
The number of people left on base in extra innings in this game could fill the first three cars of the D train back to Manhattan.
14TH INNING
I’ve got to think of something. Let’s see. Umm, the league that wins the All-Star Game in nine innings hosts every World Series game, no wait, the player who drives in the winning run gets the next two All-Star games for his city, no, the league who wins the All-Star Game in under three hours can choose whether the designated hitter is used in all World Series games, no, million dollar bonuses to everyone in the lineup if the game is done before midnight, no.
C’mon Bud. You can do it. Here! All Star bonuses to the winning team only! Talk about urgency.
15TH INNING
Who’s on Conan? Is that Heidi Klum? Can’t watch it. Craig Ferguson has that shadow puppet guy. When this ends, I’m sleeping until Thursday. Serious. Bases loaded for Michael Young. He’s won this thing before, Pittsburgh, 2006, or was that Tony Gwynn?
Fly ball, yes! Should do it. Play at the plate? No. Yes, but he’s SAFE. SAFE. SAFE! Oh God. Sooo close! If we had instant replay now we’d be here another hour. As it is, it’s 2 a.m. and I’m in the Bronx.
Is that Madonna? No, she’s not crazy.

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