Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

CACTUS LEAGUE SPECIAL: The Commissioner's Tour

It is a ‘Song and Dance Act’ by baseball
reigning Commissioner Mr.Bud Selig,
the weekend of the 12 and 13 of March
at Peoria and then Scottsdale.
But on Sunday the 13th Major League
Baseball took another punch to the

By Amaury Pi-Gonzalez
Scottsdale, Arizona.About the third inning of the Mariners-Rangers
game at Peoria Sports Complex(Spring Training
home for the Mariners and Padres)baseball
Commissioner Bud Selig came into the
Press Box and like a dozen of reporters
surrounded him. The steroids scandal is
the obvious reason for these Press Conferences
here in the Valley of the Sun. During the
game the Commissioner said that
he was very optimistic and that this
season he believes MLB was going to
establish a new attendance record.
While the questions about the steroids
use among players came from left
and right field he kept dancing around
then and saying the samething.

Then came the next day,at Scottsdale
Stadium, Spring home of the San Francisco
Giants. This time the Commissioner walked
into the Press Box and in the area where
the Media have their pregame meal
he was surrounded again with like
12 reporters, but this time ESPN
Pedro Gomez was there with a
camera crew as well as KTVU CH 2
for the record.

This Sunday April 13, baseball took
another jab to the chin, when during
the morning talk shows Major League
Baseball was accused of ‘doing nothing’
during the past few years to correct its
image and drug problem.

“I am very protective of the sport”
said Commissioner Selig and many
times gesturing with his hands.
A couple of times banged the table
in front of him.
On this day the Commish was
obviously much more animated that
the day before(Saturday at Peoria)as
he was trying to look like he was
upset, but he is not a good actor.

After the New York Daily News reported
today that the names of Jose Canseco and
Mark McGwire surfaced during a
10-year old FBI investigation
that resulted in 70 arrests, Jason Giambi
told the Kansas City Star that he used
steroids. The Commissioner when
pressed, specially by ESPN Pedro Gomez
about why not investigate the past
finally said he would ‘not rule out
a steroids investigation’. Mr.Selig
made the same point over and over
during and almost -under one hour-
Press Conference and that was that
he was not responsible for what
has happened in the past prior to
him ruling as Commissioner. I did
agree with that point. You cannot
blame the inactions of previous
baseball Commissioners on his
watch. But, aside from that point
my opinion of his talk points was
not very impressive and shows me
what I have said all along a lack
of leadership from 245 Park Avenue.

The US government is getting involved
with hearings coming up in
Washington D.C. The Commissioner
repeated today that he has gotten
calls from players that were very upset
they were subpeoned to appear in
these hearings. There is a chance
that Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire
(yes, the Bash Brothers)might be
seated next to each other during
these hearing, accordintg to my
source.Can’t it get more bizarre ?

During the Presser today at the
Scottsdale Stadium during the
game, present were the Giants
top brass, Peter Magowan and
Larry Baer. The whole conference
revolved around ‘why did Major League
Baseball let this go this far’. Mr.Selig
said yesterday at Peoria and today
here at Scottsdale that one of his
fears is that 7 or 8 years from today
a player is going to die and his wife
is going to blame me for his death
because “I did nothing”. He continued
saying that he cannot be responsible
for the past and can only manage the
present and implement standards that
would affect the future.

Speaking with ESPN Bureau Reporter
Pedro Gomez, who was assigned
to follow Barry Bonds in his quest
for the Home run record the whole
season, he told me (among other
things)that he went to the same school
as his Cuban compatriot Jose Canseco,
Coral High School in Miami. Pedro like
yours truly we’re both from Cuba– once believed
that Jose Canseco was going to be one
of the best players of all time and a
no doubt Hall of Fame inductee when
he retired. Pedro’s assignment is
unique in the 26 year history of ESPN.
Nobody ever followed an individual
athlete like Pedro Gomez is following
Barry Bonds all 81 games in San Francisco
and all other games in the Western
Division. Pedro is only going to rest
from Bonds when the Giants travel
to the East or Central Divisions.

I personally was not convinced of the
message that Mr.Selig was trying to
get across.

Tomorrow this reporter will be at the
Mariners camp in Peoria very early to
do a one-on-one interview of the
Mariners Cuban rookie Yunesky Betancourt
who escaped Cuba in a raft and landed
in Mexico where he asked for political
exile. He was recently signed to a
multi million dollar contract by the
Seattle team. This piece will be out
next May on the Mariners Magazine
issue. Betancourt has a story to tell
and it is one of the most impressive
of all Cuban players than have escaped
the island in homemade rafts/dingies.


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