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Lance Berkman apologizes for calling Bud Selig an extortionist

Mar 23, 2012, 9:12 AM EDT

World Series Rangers Cardinals Baseball

The other day Lance Berkman said that Bud Selig “extorted” Jim Crane into moving the Astros to the American League. It was kind of surprising to hear Berkman using such charged language. He seems more like a “gosh, that’d be swell” kind of guy, not the sort of guy who ruffles feathers like that.

Well, he must have thought about it a bit and agrees, because he had a conversation with Selig yesterday and apologized:

“It was a good conversation,” Berkman said Thursday night. “I basically apologized for using the word ‘extortion.’ I had a chance to tell him where I was coming from and he had a chance to explain where he was coming from” … The loquacious Berkman and Selig exchanged views for about 10 minutes. Berkman said the conversation ended amicably after he sensed the commissioner was “a little disappointed and maybe a little hurt” over his usage of a word suggesting a felony.

Why do I get the impression that the “exchange of views” was about 98% Selig explaining to Berkman how the world works and 2% of Berkman saying “yes sir, sorry sir”?

  1. royhobbs39 - Mar 23, 2012 at 9:28 AM

    I have a feeling it was more like 99% and 1%. But it was smart to use 98/2 so that there would be no accusations of you trying to insert any political views here…

  2. Jonny 5 - Mar 23, 2012 at 9:29 AM

    Correction: 2% of Berkman saying, “No Sir, My mouth isn’t writing any more checks my a$$ isn’t ready to cash Sir.

    • cur68 - Mar 23, 2012 at 10:19 AM

      Agree, totally. The fact the Phat Elvis was basically right really adds the burn to this.

  3. sprest83 - Mar 23, 2012 at 9:47 AM

    Berkman is an idiot!

    • stex52 - Mar 23, 2012 at 12:03 PM

      By what chain of logic do you draw that conclusion?

      • Old Gator - Mar 23, 2012 at 1:05 PM

        Especially given to whom you’re comparing him.

      • sprest83 - Mar 23, 2012 at 4:59 PM

        Really? There is that much Berkman support? Why? The guy is a loud mouth know-it-all that needs to shut up.

      • stex52 - Mar 24, 2012 at 9:35 PM

        Once more, by what chain of logic do you draw thatg conclusion?

    • raindog - Mar 23, 2012 at 1:18 PM

      Get out of here, Selig.

  4. cintiphil - Mar 23, 2012 at 9:48 AM

    The problem is that no of the people paying attention, will change their minds even after this “apology”. Everyone know who Selig is, and either like him or hate him. In my case, I think he is way too much of a strong arm kind of guy who uses his authority to benefit himself and his own interests. So, no change here.

  5. spudchukar - Mar 23, 2012 at 10:05 AM

    I’ll bet it was a lot more 50-50. Berkman always speaks his mind. Sure he needed to apologize for the “extortion” malaprop, but he has never shied away from taking a stand on something he believes in. Personally, I think he is incorrect in his analysis, but he is speaking from the heart, his allegiance to Houston palpable, and I for one would like to hear his argument.

    • borninfellspoint - Mar 23, 2012 at 10:24 AM

      good post spudchukar!

    • stex52 - Mar 23, 2012 at 12:16 PM

      I like your post, too. Berkman is a very intelligent and principled man. He has never been afraid to give an interview opinion, even before he had a national audience. He loves Houston, and he is expressing a view that is widely held around the city. You probably underestimate how badly viewed this whole exercise by Selig was around here.

      Extortionist is a strong word for a public interview. But you would here that and more at the water coolers around town. And you are probably right, I bet the conversation went both ways. Why would Berkman be afraid of some fine? And a game suspension would look like over-the-top retaliation.

  6. apmn - Mar 23, 2012 at 10:14 AM

    Are you suggesting that Selig extorted the apology from Berkman?

    • stex52 - Mar 23, 2012 at 12:02 PM

      Of course he did.

  7. skids003 - Mar 23, 2012 at 10:20 AM

    Since h apologized, that makes it OK now. SO I will apologize to Bekman for calling him an entitled butthead. That makes it Ok, right?

  8. Carl Hancock - Mar 23, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    If you think it was 98% Selig explaining to Berkman how the world works and 2% of Berkman saying “yes sir, sorry sir” then you really really do not know Lance Berkman. He’s a veteran who’s had a great career and is nearing the end. He doesn’t care what Selig thinks or says. I’m sure the only thing Lance would have apologized for would be related to bringing negative publicity to MLB itself by making the comments publicly the way he did.

    • Baseball Beer Burritos In That Order - Mar 23, 2012 at 12:45 PM

      I don’t know a lot about Lance Berkman, but I’m pretty sure the conversation they had went something like “Son, do you want to have a job in baseball when you retire? Keep your trap shut or else.” And then Berkman smiled, thanked Bud, and left.

  9. forsch31 - Mar 23, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    >>”Why do I get the impression that the “exchange of views” was about 98% Selig explaining to Berkman how the world works and 2% of Berkman saying “yes sir, sorry sir”?”

    Funny, I don’t get that sense from Berkman’s comments in the article.

    “I don’t believe I said anything I hadn’t said before,” Berkman said Thursday, shortly before the Cardinals played the Washington Nationals at Roger Dean Stadium. “It’s not exactly new.

    “It’s a team and a city that I’ve been part of for a long time and it’s how I felt. But I don’t think anything illegal necessarily happened. I guess I could have conveyed it in a different way.”
    “I spoke as a major league player, a former member of the organization and as someone who appreciates the history of the franchise,” said Berkman, well aware that the Astros joined the National League as the expansion Colt 45’s in 1962. “I don’t know of anyone who wanted the club to move to a different league. But it was going to happen” for the sale to be approved.

    “Several sources told me he was not pleased with my remarks,” Berkman said. “I didn’t expect him to be. I knew he was going to be a little upset. Having read them and having some time to reflect, I realized there wasn’t any need to be quite that over the top.”

    So, basically: yeah, I shouldn’t have said “extortion,” but it still sucks.

  10. racksie - Mar 23, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    Being a Twins fan, I have my own issues with Bud. He has made bad decisions, but has made more good decisions. And I have heard, from many media people, he will call you to talk about your opinion, and tell you why you are wrong. I was actively seeking him out while I lived in Milwaukee. I wanted to shake his hand, and tell him I loved the game as much as him. And contraction was something I will hold against him forever.

  11. xmatt0926x - Mar 23, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    “He seems more like a “gosh, that’d be swell” kind of guy, not the sort of guy who ruffles feathers like that.” No, I think this is actually typical Berkman. I think he actually comes off as a smart ass alot when he speaks. Not that he’s a tyrant but I don’t think he’s an “aww shucks” guy at all.

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