As ESPN continues to wage the owners' PR war with the players, they have devoted their baseball page this morning to the commissioner. (You see ABC owns both ESPN and the Angels.) I guess they felt that they have to counter the good press that the players got in not setting a strike date. If inaction is to be applauded who better than Bud Selig to become the day's cynosure.
They have a headline of "Bud Unplugged" on the ESPN Baseball site. It's the kinder and gentler side of the man, kind of like when Bob Dole started wearing sweaters. And then an oh-so-soft interview with Jim Caple who claims to have an adversarial relationship with Bud because he once made fun of his hair. Caple spends more time describing Bud's base-and-bat constructed bench than in interviewing the man. Witness:
I did ask Selig whether he thinks he can still do the job effectively after his credibility has been called into serious question over the past year. Not surprisingly, he says he is the best person for the job.
"I have a better understanding of the history and the problems we've had," Selig said. "Has anyone before me done a better job? No. If they had, we wouldn't be in the mess we are now."
Of course, Caple being the hard journalist that he is followed up by saying, "What mess? Forbes says that you are not in the poor financial state that you claim. Even one of your owners, Nelson Doubleday, said that it was a sham. Can you prove to me that there is a financial crisis in baseball right here and now." No, he got off the topic completely and asked poor little Buddy how he feels when people dislike him (sniff).
The rest is fluff except that Caple witnesses Selig watching the players union no-strike-date announcement, which was no surprise to him, he said.
There is another page with Caple's "10 Burning Questions" for the commissioner. It reads more like a Playboy Turn-on/Turn-offs list. Witness:
7. How much do you tip?
8. What's your favorite baseball movie?
10. To solve baseball's problems, would you be willing to go against Don Fehr in a sausage race, winner takes all?
I hope that they do sign an agreement soon. I don't think I can stomach a Bud Selig centerfold.