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Bush: He’s our man – for baseball commissioner

Bud Selig better watch his back.

When President George W. Bush stops running our country, he just might want to be the next Major League baseball commissioner. For some Americans that couldn’t be soon enough.

Obviously, Bush is more comfortable solving baseball’s problems than he is resolving California’s energy crisis.



The former Texas Rangers owner found the time to throw out the first pitch for the College World Series on Friday in Omaha, Neb. Afterward, he visited with ESPN’s CWS experts Harold Reynolds and Buck Showalter and, in the process, revealed how much baseball has a grip on his life.

Whether Bush was discussing the possibility of a Major League strike or serving up the historical fact that he’s the only president with Little League experience, no one can dispute his love for the game.



Bush may not realize that he isn’t a popular president, but he does know who the surprise teams of the 2001 season are.

“The Phillies are interesting, and Seattle, they are unbelievable,” Bush told ESPN viewers. “That really does speak to the value of team to lose three stars like they’ve lost and now they’re playing great ball.”

However, for Bush and fellow Texas, these aren’t good times for baseball lovers. After all, the Rangers are already 26 games out of first place in the American League West and, mysteriously, no team from Texas qualified for the eight-team CWS.

Perhaps tiring of White House visits from the Yankees, Bush hasn’t hesitated to invite some of his heroes – baseball Hall of Famers – to the oval office.

“There’s been some strange moments,” Bush said. “I can’t remember which Hall of Famer it was. One of the notables said, ‘Can I have your autograph?’ I looked up and about 10 of them were in line trying to get the president’s autograph. I said, ‘Something is wrong with this picture. Look guys, we need to reverse this.’

“People are in awe of the White House and they respect the office of the presidency.”

If Bush’s approval of $1.35 trillion in tax cuts showed us that he isn’t concentrating on people in his income bracket, then his feelings on soaring baseball ticket and concession prices confirms it.

“We need to keep Major League Baseball a family game,” he said.

Taking a break from tax cuts and cease-fire demands in Jerusalem, ESPN’s broadcasting team presented Bush with a potential problem more up his alley: As president, would you intervene if there was a baseball strike?

Bush didn’t hesitate as he shot from the hip.

“A president would only make it worse. They need to mediate it themselves and work it out,” he said.

Maybe Bush should interfere. If he does, at least we can feel confident that baseball won’t wind up like it did during the 1994 season – without a World Series.


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