Selig fooled by radio prank
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| By diamond_lil on Friday, September 05, 2003 - 04:18 pm:|
Friday, September 5, 2003
ESPN.com news services
Baseball commissioner Bud Selig apparently thought he was talking with Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien in a 12-minute telephone conversation that aired on a Montreal radio station Tuesday.
They talked about the Expos and the commish wondered why the Canadian leader hadn't contacted him long before about the plight of the team.
In fact, Selig was talking to Marc-Antoine Audette of Les Justiciers Masques (Blind Justices), a group known to listeners of CKOI for its pranks. But Selig, who apparently knows of Chretien, obviously does not know of Audette and his Chretien impersonations.
According to various Canadian newspapers, Selig described saving the Expos for Montreal as "mission impossible." He also blamed the Expos' problems on former minority partners, calling their actions "appalling."
Major League Baseball spokesman Rich Levin apparently was not amused. He termed Audette's entertainment bit "a reprehensible example of journalism."
| By tekgraf on Friday, September 05, 2003 - 05:28 pm:|
Selig is an idiot! 'nuf said.
| By diamond_lil on Friday, September 05, 2003 - 08:59 pm:|
check this out:
Everybody's favorite Bud
By Graham Hays
Page 2 staff
Editor's Note: On Tuesday, a Canadian radio goofball called Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, pretending to be Canadian prime minister Jean Chrétien and wanting to talk about the state of the Montreal Expos. Selig fell for the gag and had a 12-minute conversation with "Chrétien." Page 2 has transcribed the "conversation" for your pleasure.
Faux Chrétien: Good morning, Commissioner Selig. I appreciate your willingness to take my call -- I usually have to pretend I'm Mike Myers or Alex Trebek. The White House switchboard just laughs at me when I call.
Selig: It's my pleasure, Mr. Prime Minister. Although to be honest, I thought we had installed Fay Vincent in the office after running him out of baseball -- sort of like sending Napoleon to Saint Helena. How's Ottawa, these days?
"What can I say? He really pulled off that Canadian accent. Who knew Canadian sounded so much like French?"
Faux Chrétien: It's simply delightful.
Selig: Terrific. Would they like the Expos? All it will take is a publicly-funded retractable-roof stadium and a few hundred million dollars -- that's American dollars -- made out to Major League Baseball. Or just Bud, whichever is easier to spell.
Faux Chrétien: Actually, we're having enough trouble keeping the Senators in town.
Selig: Political coup? Well, hang in there. I've had my own battles with senators. My advice? Just bring lots and lots of books filled with numbers. Doesn't matter what they say -- most of my testimony came right out of Wendy's high-school algebra books and I fooled those politicians. Numbers confuse people, and nobody has time to revolt when they're confused.
Faux Chrétien: I meant the hockey club, Commissioner. The Ottawa Senators. Alexei Yashin, Patrick Lalime, Marian Hossa?
Faux Chrétien: Right, well, I'm sure you're a busy man. And we do have a traffic report coming up in eight minutes ...
Selig: A traffic report?
Faux Chrétien: Uh, did I say traffic report? Yeah, I have a meeting next with the transportation minister. Anyway, the Expos were part of the reason I was calling. As a native of Quebec, I'd very much like to see them stay in Montreal.
Selig: I thought you were Canadian? Don't you have citizenship requirements for Prime Minister?
Faux Chrétien: It's a province, sir. Sort of like Wisconsin.
Selig: We don't speak French in Wisconsin. I mean, I may have tried it in school, but I never inhaled. Nope, we stick with the Queen's English. Thought you folks would as well.
Faux Chrétien: Actually, we speak both. But back to the Expos, Commissioner. What needs to happen for them to stay in Montreal? It's a center of culture in North America. We have wonderful universities like McGill, a lively Latin Quarter, a clean, efficient subway, the second-biggest population in Canada and the second-largest French-speaking population in the world.
Selig: Right, but you people are all too busy soaking up life to go to the games. Have you been to Washington D.C. in the summer? It's C-Span reruns and Redskins training camp. People will be falling over themselves to buy baseball tickets.
Faux Chrétien: But how can you fault people for not going to games when the former owners ran the team itno the ground and the current owners -- that's you, by the way, Mr. Commissioner -- won't put any money into the team? For cripes sakes, we've got someone named Rocky Biddle closing games and we're still in the playoff race.
"If the Expos leave Canada, we will invade Buffalo!"
Selig: Well, I'd love to help, I really would, but we're just a little strapped for cash at the moment. Do you have any idea how much all that champagne at the World Series costs?
Faux Chrétien: So the ownership groups in questionable markets like Washington D.C. or Portland are more likely to come up with the money needed to keep Vladimir Guerrero around and bring in someone with more power than an Ohio substation to bat behind him? Didn't you learn anything from the Devil Rays and Marlins?
Selig: Oh, I don't know. The Marlins seem to be doing OK this year. That Jeffrey Loria really is a miracle worker, you know?
Faux Chrétien: (Muffled screams)
Selig: Is everything all right, Mr. Prime Minister?
Faux Chrétien: I'm fine, Commissioner. Just, uh, choking on some poutine.
Selig: Some what?
Faux Chrétien: Poutine. It's a French-Canadian dish. Fries, gravy and melted cheese.
Selig: Good God, I haven't done that kind of damage to my arteries since that day in '86 when I ate five brats.
Faux Chrétien: So you don't think Montreal is a viable baseball market? What about the history? Jackie Robinson played his first games as a member of the Dodgers organization here. Doesn't that mean anything?
Selig: There are just too many built-in costs. Outfield distances in both feet and meters, two national anthems in two languages, and health insurance for Youppi doesn't come cheap when you work in a building where the roof tends to collapse from time to time.
Faux Chrétien: We have nationalized health care in Canada.
Selig: Really? Good thing we didn't go through with that Ken Griffey Jr. deal then.
Faux Chrétien: Commissioner, you don't seem to know much about the situation in Montreal. Did you ever really give the city a chance?
Selig: Well, we did give you Frank Robinson instead of Pete Rose.
Faux Chrétien: Have you ever even been to Montreal?
Selig: Not as such, no. But I watch all the games on television.
Faux Chrétien: They don't even have English-language television broadcasts!
Selig: Right, I knew that. Just wanted to make sure you were really Canadian. Look, I'll level with you. I don't know the first thing about Canada, other than you folks seem to win an inordinate number of medals in curling at the Winter Olympics. But you'll still have a team in Toronto, and that's not so far from Quebec. You guys and Ontario are neighbors, surely you get along well enough to share a team.
Selig: Mr. Prime Minister? I'm sorry, I've got to take this call. My boss is on the other line, and he sounds pretty upset about Derek Jeter's injury. George is so hard to please.
Graham Hays writes 'Out of the Box,' the inside scoop on yesterday's box scores, five days a week.