I have a lot of questions.
The parole hearing for Nevada Department of Corrections Inmate No. 1027820, better known as Orenthal James Simpson, is taking place today. It's a depressing and dreary affair, marked mostly by bizarre allegations on Simpson's part relating to his past and criminal history. But while talking to the parole board about his current life behind bars, Simpson did reveal one especially unexpected fact.
O.J. says he is the commissioner of an 18-team prison softball league.— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) July 20, 2017
Yes, O.J. Simpson, a Hall of Fame NFL running back, is in charge of the 18-team (!) softball league at the Lovelock Correctional Center. And I have a lot of questions about this.
For starters: How did O.J. become the commissioner? Was he appointed by the rest of the league? Did he have to campaign for it? Was it a tough, brutal election, or was it uncontested? Or did he simply pull a power play and oust the old commissioner in a ruthless coup? And if he's the commissioner, does that mean that each team in the league has its own president or owner? Do they have board meetings to discuss league bylaws and rules? Do they follow Robert's Rules of Order? Does O.J. have a little gavel he gets to bang to call meetings into session? Do team presidents have to refer to O.J. as "Commissioner Simpson?" Do you think he asks the rest of the league to refer to him as "Commissioner Juice?" How many people do you think actually do that?
Also, what does the commissioner of a prison softball league even do? Is he as concerned about pace of play as MLB commissioner Rob Manfred is? Does he also struggle with how to market the league's best players and stars? Does he get to approve trades? Are there trades made in prison softball leagues? How do the general managers of these teams make trade decisions? What would be the "cash considerations" in a prison trade? Instead of a player to be named later, would it be a prisoner to be named later?
Is there someone keeping detailed stats on every player and game? Is that O.J.'s job, too? Does there exist a Baseball-Reference for this league? Does this league use traditional stats or is there a sabermetric-oriented group? Is there also a culture war ongoing between old school and new school there? How do you calculate WAR for a prison league?
How did O.J. get involved in softball anyway? Has this been a secret love of his for years now? Do you think he wishes he'd passed up his football life to play softball professionally? Or is he just interested in being in charge of something, and softball was the only option available? Was the prison football league already spoken for? Why isn't O.J. part of that league instead?
How are there even that many prisoners interested in playing softball? An 18-team league with at least nine players per team is 162 people, and then you have to include bench players and coaches; that's a lot of people! How many divisions are there in this league? How are the playoffs structured? Is it like a rotisserie fantasy league where the regular-season team with the most wins gets the championship, or do they have a tournament? Does this league have a wild card? Was that O.J.'s call? Did he get the inspiration from Bud Selig? Regardless of how the playoffs are set up, does O.J. get to present a trophy to the winning team? Where did he get a trophy? Do you think it looks like MLB's Commissioner's Trophy or more like the Lombardi Trophy? If it's the latter, do you think O.J. ever picks up the trophy and hoists it over his head and pretends like he won the Super Bowl?
If you have the answers to any of these questions, please let me know.
UPDATE: Simpson has been granted parole and will be released from prison. Guess the league needs a new commissioner.