The commish comes clean
By Jim Caple
Page 2 columnist

News item: Commissioner Bud Selig participated in a chat room on baseball's official website Tuesday, fielding questions from fans nationwide ...

Bud Selig
Versace? No, the Commish gets his style from Men's Wearhouse.
Bud: I want to thank you all for taking the time to join me today. And if I'm a little slow with this, be patient. I'm an old dog, and it takes me a while to learn new tricks. But I'm very excited to make use of this new technology to reach out to you fans, helping us explain what we've been up to this past winter and answer any questions you might have.

First question?

Wayne: What are you wearing? :-) ...

Bud: Excuse me? Errr, well, ummmm, I'm wearing a dark pinstripe suit, and I'm not afraid to say I bought it at the Men's Wearhouse. Oh, I know a lot of columnists in New York and Los Angeles make fun of my suits, but that just points out the growing economic gaps between markets. Large market owners can choose from a myriad of Armani designs. Small market owners have to buy off the rack.

Now, could we please keep the questions to baseball?

Jimmy Hollywood: How come in "A League of Their Own," there's a black-and-white newsreel shot of Rosie O'Donnell playing second base, when she's the third baseman the entire movie? Doesn't that sort of sloppy editing tick you off? :-I

Bud: I'm not sure I recall what you're referring to, but "A League of Their Own" is a fine movie. And you know, I was a young man growing up in the Midwest in those days, and I remember the All-American Girls Professional League. And when I became an owner, I became very close personal friends with Phil Wrigley, who wanted that league to survive very much, but he just couldn't make it go. I'm glad you brought it up because, frankly, what makes baseball great is its history and traditions and we need to pay more attention to the contributions women have made to the game. My daughter, Wendy, is in charge of the Brewers, and I would like to see more women involved, I really would. They have a lot to offer.

Jimmy Hollywood: Do you think Lori Petty was hotter in that movie or in "Tank Girl?" :-) ...

Bud: Well, I'm not sure if I recall which one she was. Was she the catcher?

Jimmy Hollywood: No, that was Geena Davis. I'm talking about Lori Petty, her sister. "Tank Girl" is AWESOME! :-) ...

Bud Selig
Contrary to rumors, the Blue Ribbon Panel has nothing to do with Pabst.
Joystick: EMFBI But do you think Rosie and Madonna were doing it during the movie?

Jimmy Hollywood: Oh yeah! You know they were definitely doing it.

Bud: Doing what?

Joystick: LZ! ;-)

Jimmy Hollywood: GMTA ;-)

Bud: What are you two talking about?

Does anyone else have a question?

2Hot2Handle: R U alone? :-P

Bud: Sometimes it seems that way, but I'm not. The Blue Ribbon Panel looked into baseball's financial concerns very extensively, the owners were thoroughly briefed on their report, and they voted unanimously to go ahead with contraction. And let me emphasize, the vote was unanimous. And mind you, these are some of the finest businessmen in the country and none of them voted against it. So I definitely am not alone on this.

2Hot2Handle: Are you touching yourself right now? :-P

Bud: A lot of my critics will say that I am out of touch, but nothing could be further from the truth. I am very much in touch, and I think it's fair to say that I have my fingers on the pulse of fans far better than the sportswriters and union officials. Unlike Donald Fehr, I frequently speak with fans across the country and our office has done extensive polling among fans. And quite frankly, they agree with contraction.

Bud Selig
SuperFan digs Selig's 'do.
SuperFan: Nice hair. =:-)

Bud: Thank you. I think.

Joystick: ROTFL :-D

Bud: What was that? It came in all garbled.


Bud: I think your keyboard is stuck. I'll have to move on to someone else.

Lonely Guy: Do you like to be spanked? :-{}

Bud: As my good friend, Carl Pohlad of the Twins, and I were discussing the other day, there was a different attitude about such things when we were growing up. Back then, corporal punishment was accepted, if not encouraged. If a kid broke a window or stole a candy bar or skipped school or fabricated false and misleading financial statements, parents were expected to paddle them. And no, I didn't like it one bit.

I don't see what it has to do with baseball, but it's an interesting question.

Frank31: Who's your daddy? Who's your daddy? :X

Bud Selig and Pete Rose
Just ask Pete Rose, right, about Selig's discipline style.
Bud: Thank you for bringing him up. My father was a great man, and I learned a great deal from him. He told me many years ago that life is a series of adjustments. Problems develop and you have to face them. We can't pretend they don't exist. That's why we must take action and implement contraction as expeditiously as possible. The short-term pain is worth the long-term gain.

I think I have time for one more question.

2Hot2Handle: Are you close?

Bud: I'm afraid not. The union hasn't budged one bit so far. But we are determined to see this through and reach an agreement as expeditiously as possible.

That's all I have time for. I'm sorry if I didn't get to all your questions, but it's certainly been a learning experience.

Jim Caple is a senior writer for



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