Friday, March 09, 2007

Bob Dupuy Hates Baseball Fans; Loves Money, Bud, Meals

Yesterday, Major League Baseball entered into a deal with DirecTV, that, as far as I can tell, grants exclusivity of its Extra Innings package to DirecTV, with a caveat that, technically, could allow cable television to still distribute the package, but, in reality, won't.

It was late January when it became public that MLB was ready to fully sell-out its non-DirecTV having fans by agreeing to an exclusive contract with DirecTV. This generated what I would consider a high degree of agitation among baseball fans, especially ones like me that live in apartments without balconies, which makes getting DirecTV impossible. MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, though, publicly said (according to Scott Miller of that he hadn't heard much criticism of the deal, showing the tone deafness that has characterized his tenure and made him widely despised.

MLB President and Selig henchman Bob DuPuy (the jowly guy on the right in the above pic, kind of looks like the love child of Dick Cheney and Austin Powers' Fat Bastard) evidently spent the time between the revelation of the potential deal and the recent announcement trying to come up with a way to go ahead with the deal, while diverting fan's wrath away from MLB. Because, you know, baseball fans are stupid and contemptible and all. Hey, everybody hates their cable company, how hard can it be to blame them for this?

According to the AP, "the deal contains a provision that allows its 'Extra Innings' package of out-of-market games to remain on cable television if the other incumbent providers agree to match the terms." I'm not entirely sure what this means, which I'm sure is their intention, but I'd think that if the "incumbent providers" were able to match the terms, they would have already done so. Robert Johnson, president of former provider iN Demand, quickly said that his company couldn't agree to these new terms, and called the agreement a "de facto exclusive deal."

I figured that this was going to play out this way. But MLB has added insult to injury by attempting to shift the blame from themselves to the cable companies. This we know, because DuPuy flat out said "In response to the concerns of our fans, baseball has negotiated with DirecTV to offer the package to incumbents. I hope that those fans who have been directing their concerns to us over the last several weeks will now encourage their cable carriers to in fact enlist for this package. Because I just do not give a fuck." Right, because we know how responsive monopolies like cable companies are to their customers. And, yes, I made up that last sentence.

Any time I think Bob DuPuy cannot get any more disgusting or arrogant, he surprises me. Nationals' fans remember that it was DuPuy who, prior to the 2006 season, said, with a straight, puffy face, that the Nationals weren't at all hindered by not having an owner, which he and his daddy Bud had said they would name by the 2005 All Star game. Then the play-offs. Then, basically, whenever the hell they wanted to. Last winter, at the height of renewed controversy about the Nats' new stadium, DuPuy wrote a condescending editorial in the Washington Post, saying that people in Washington should just shut up and do what he and Bud and the gang wanted them to do. He seemed to think it was important to remind us that the Senators left, 30 years previously, to go to a place where there was better fan and governmental support, without mentioning what a lousy owner Bob Short was, and how, other than the monuments, Washington in the 2000s had nothing in common with Washington in the 1970s. He also noted that, in expansions in 1990 and 1995, "Washington's desire to secure a team was easily outmatched by the enthusiasm and commitment of Florida, Colorado, Arizona and Tampa Bay." Right, Bob, those Florida franchises are really strong, nice job there.

So it looks like I'll have a couple hundred extra dollars this spring. Maybe I should send Bob and Bud some chocolates. Doughnuts, maybe.


cleavers44 said...

MLB's greed is exceeded only by their short-sightedness. They'd rather have $1 today than $2 (or $5 or $10) next week.

tadcranky said...


Man, I still can't get over that game. In the history of teams, is there any team that's a surer bet to blow a lead?

cleavers44 said...

It happens just like clockwork. I'm seriously wondering if JR has a lingering injury that hasn't been made public.