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Bush has a majority of baseball owners' support

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  • Bush has a majority of baseball owners' support

    Sept. 13, 2004 wire reports

    WASHINGTON -- Baseball owners once passed up a chance to hire former colleague George W. Bush as the sport's commissioner, but now they're working hard to keep Bush at bat in the White House.

    More than a dozen current and former owners and family members are among the president's top re-election fund-raisers, an Associated Press review found. Seven are Bush "Rangers," each raising at least $200,000, and six are "Pioneers" who have brought in $100,000 or more.

    The Bush campaign has also received direct contributions from owners and executives of more than half of the sport's 30 teams, the AP analysis of Federal Election Commission reports found.

    Those include $2,000 contributions from owners George Steinbrenner of the New York Yankees, Fred Wilpon of the New York Mets, Carl Pohlad of the Minnesota Twins, Peter Magowan of the San Francisco Giants and Michael Ilitch of the Detroit Tigers.

    Democratic nominee John Kerry, by contrast, has taken in money from only a handful of baseball interests.

    Bush also has picked up contributions from players and coaches -- including a manager he once fired. Bobby Valentine, axed by Bush as manager of the Texas Rangers in 1992, gave the president the maximum $4,000 this year. Valentine said he's not surprised Bush has support from baseball owners.

    "People got to work with him side by side and saw his passion for the game and passion for his work," Valentine said in an interview from Japan, where he is manager of the Chiba Lotte Marines. "They saw that he really cared about baseball when he was in it, and not just the Rangers as a business entity."

    Baseball is part of the Bush legacy. His father, former President George H.W. Bush, played first base for the Yale baseball team, and the younger Bush took up the game as a Little Leaguer in Midland, Texas. He also organized a stickball league at Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass.

    With the benefit of family connections, Bush helped put together a group of investors to buy the Texas Rangers and then became its managing general partner from 1989 to 1994. There was talk back then that he might succeed Fay Vincent as commissioner, but the job went to Milwaukee Brewers owner Bud Selig. Bush was a baseball traditionalist, opposing interleague play and the addition of a wild card playoff team.

    His investment of just $600,000 turned into $15 million when he sold his share of the team while preparing to run for governor of Texas.

    "The baseball platform was for him to springboard into politics," said Bruce Buchanan, a longtime Bush watcher and University of Texas government professor. "He was the face of the Texas Rangers, as well as a substantial partner in the economic side for some years, and that enabled him to become acquainted with all of these figures."

    Three of Bush's former fellow investors in the Texas Rangers -- Bill DeWitt, Marshall Payne and Craig Stapleton -- are campaign Rangers. Stapleton's wife, Debbie Stapleton, who is Bush's cousin, is a Pioneer.

    "George Bush knows a lot of people in baseball," said Craig Stapleton, a co-chairman of Bush's re-election campaign in Connecticut. "So we've tried to talk to people that know George Bush well through baseball. He gets a lot of support from baseball people -- not only executives and owners but baseball players."

    For example, FEC reports show, Bush received $2,000 contributions from Orioles slugger Rafael Palmeiro, who played for the Rangers when Bush was an owner, and from New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, the highest-paid player in the game.

    Bush turned to another former Texas Rangers investor, Mercer Reynolds III, to be his campaign finance chairman.

    "Having experience in baseball, Mr. Reynolds was able to reach out to many people to encourage them to get involved with the campaign," said Bush campaign spokesman Scott Stanzel. Reynolds was a Pioneer for Bush in 2000.

    Former partner DeWitt is now owner and chairman of the St. Louis Cardinals, whose owners and executives have been among the most generous to Bush's re-election campaign. The team's ownership group includes two Rangers (DeWitt and Kimmy Brauer, wife of owner Steve Brauer) and one Pioneer (Robert Castellini).

    A rare Democratic Cardinal is co-owner Michael E. Pulitzer, who gave $2,000 to Kerry. The Democratic nominee has also received $2,000 contributions from Boston Red Sox chairman Tom Werner and San Diego Padres owner John Moores.

    Several Cardinals owners have made individual contributions to the Bush campaign. DeWitt said he didn't try to line up support for Bush among the Cardinals ownership.

    "It turns out that Cardinal partners have been supporters of the president independent of my support of the president," he said.

    The team's contributions to Bush extended to the front office and even to the bullpen: General Manager Walt Jocketty and pitcher Cal Eldred each gave $2,000 to Bush, FEC reports show. Bush threw out the first ball at the Cardinals' home opener this year.

    The Cardinals' previous owner, August Busch III, chairman of beer giant Anheuser-Busch, is also a Ranger fund-raiser.

    Drayton McLane, owner of the Houston Astros, is on board as a Bush Pioneer. McLane said he got to know Bush well through baseball.

    "When I considered buying the Houston Astros, I talked to him on several occasions and he was very encouraging," recalled McLane, who bought the team in 1992. "He loves baseball. When I have the occasion to see him, boy, he's ready to talk baseball."

    The Associated Press News Service

    Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

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  • DJRamFan
    President Bush tells players thanks for serving country
    by DJRamFan
    Dec. 4, 2004 wire reports

    PHILADELPHIA -- The roar of Air Force One and a tip of its wing over the field signaled President Bush's presence Saturday at the Army -Navy football game, a matchup steeped in tradition and shadowed by war in Iraq.


    Asked on the field who he thought would win the game, Bush said: "The United States of America."

    A devoted sports fan, Bush made a triumphant entrance to the 105th contest in the series when his plane swooped over Lincoln Financial Field before landing nearby. Bush took his seat on the Army side to start the game, with injured soldiers next to him.

    When the president entered the Navy locker room before the game, three jerseys were hanging over the doorway in remembrance of former players killed while serving in Iraq -- Ron Winchester, J.P. Blecksmith and Scott Zellem.

    During a visit to Army's locker room, Bush said, "It's my honor to be here for this game. I know you're going to play hard, but I'm here to tell you, thanks for serving your country."

    The coin that Bush tossed to start the game -- tails, for Navy -- was from the Iraqi city of Fallujah. Players from both teams wore patches to honor their fellow servicemen.

    Among those traveling with the president were brother Marvin; Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony Principi; Sen. Zell Miller, D-Ga.; Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., a graduate of the Naval Academy; chief of staff Andy Card; and senior adviser Karl Rove.

    Bush also attended the game in 2001, less than three months after the Sept. 11 attacks. He told members of the armed services then that his thoughts were on the game but also on Americans who were fighting terrorism in Afghanistan.

    The Associated Press News Service

    Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
    -12-04-2004, 03:00 PM
  • RamFan_Til_I_Die
    USC to Bush: Stay away from Rose
    by RamFan_Til_I_Die
    Get NFL news, scores, stats, standings & more for your favorite teams and players -- plus watch highlights and live games! All on

    "Bush: USC asked me not to show

    The USC Trojans have done something defenders have been unable to do in Reggie Bush's rookie year they've stunned him dead in his tracks.

    The Saints running back and former Heisman Trophy winner told FOX NFL Sunday and that USC officials have asked that he not show up on the sidelines for the Trojans' Rose Bowl matchup against the Michigan on New Year's Day.

    Bush called the athletic department Friday to get his credentials for the game, but was told it would be better if he didn't attend the game.

    "It's ridiculous," said Bush. "I guess I won't be going."

    "Per BCS policy, schools in a BCS bowl are allowed five VIP sideline passes and we've already divvied those out," USC spokesperson Tim Tessalone said. "So it's kind of a moot issue. It's not like it's a home game where there's unlimited passes. That's what I can tell you about it."

    According to Tessalone, those five passes were provided to Marcus Allen, Ronnie Lott, Charles White, Matt Leinart and John Papadakis.

    Previously, Bush had said he believed all the negative stories that surfaced earlier this year regarding alleged financial impropriates caused them to put forth such a request and he's obviously not happy about it. Thus, Bush is making no plans to show up despite winning the Heisman for the university a year ago and helping lead them to the national championship game two years in a row.

    USC is likely trying to distance itself from Bush after a man named Michael Michaels alleged that he allowed Bush's parents to move into a $757,000, 3,000-square-foot home he owned in Spring Valley, a San Diego suburb. According to Michaels, Bush's parents failed to pay any of the agreed upon $4,500 monthly rent on the property before Michaels evicted the family. Michaels also alleged that he paid for Bush's family to travel to some USC road games during the 2005 season.

    However, Michaels also promised that he would have corroborating evidence to these claims and much more yet to this day nothing has been proven.

    Had anything been proven, USC could have been stripped of its 2004 championship. But considering the man has yet to be proven guilty of anything, to shun one of your biggest stars and most beloved players at this point is absurd especially considering O.J. Simpson has been allowed to attend certain USC events. O.J. can come to practice but Reggie is asked not to come to a game?

    -12-31-2006, 07:13 PM
  • Nick
    Reggie Bush = Overrated? CBS's Mike Freeman thinks so.
    by Nick
    Bush is fast becoming 21st-century Mandarich
    By Mike Freeman National Columnist
    Sep. 26, 2007

    This is who running back Reggie Bush is starting to resemble. He's beginning to look a lot like Tony Mandarich.

    You remember Mandarich. It was Mandarich who literally fooled the entire NFL industrial complex - coaches, general managers and the media. Everyone. In the months leading to the 1989 draft, stories of Mandarich's athletic prowess grew to almost legendary status. He was Paul Bunyan Mandarich. He could pancake a defensive lineman with one arm tied behind his back.

    The legend of Mandarich grew so rapidly and suckered so many people it remains one of the great draft con jobs of all time. What Mandarich did was take a good college career - he was an All-American player at Michigan State, an Outland finalist and twice was the Big Ten lineman of the year - added some Guns N' Roses tatts, talked smack about how he could beat up Mike Tyson, acted like he loved the smell of Napalm in the morning and soon enough, people bought the tough guy act. He was right.

    Sports Illustrated put Mandarich on its cover and actually wondered if he was the best offensive line draft prospect in history. Incredibly, Mandarich was selected by the Green Bay Packers ahead of players like Deion Sanders and Barry Sanders.

    Mandarich is without question the most overrated draft prospect in the history of sports. And this is where Bush comes in. He's not so far behind Mandarich when it comes to creating a magnanimous image that isn't real. Not so far at all.

    In fact, as I revise my list of the top 10 most overrated athletes of all time, not just draft selections, but all professional athletes, Bush is quickly advancing past the top five. My top 10 now goes something like this:

    10. Vince Carter -- His terrible shooting makes him one dimensional.

    9. Chris Webber -- Average NBA career but grand name recognition.

    8. Jose Canseco -- Has had more of an impact on baseball post-career with his mouth than he ever did with his bat.

    7. John Daly -- Could easily be top three.

    6. Bo Jackson -- Both overrated and underrated. Overrated because his career was so short; underrated because he is one of the best athletes sports has ever witnessed.

    5. Reggie Bush -- This from former Denver offensive lineman and current analyst Mark Schlereth: "You look at Reggie Bush. Reggie Bush doesn't know how to run between the tackles right now. He's a guy that's an edge runner. He's a guy that right now is not fulfilling his part of this offense."

    4. Joe Namath -- 220 interceptions, one championship and a lot of horrible seasons.

    3. Michael Vick -- Good player but career shortened due to stupidity.

    2. Mike Tyson -- Devastating puncher and one...
    -10-05-2007, 11:06 PM
  • RamWraith
    Bush might re-enter the draft! Wants pay day
    by RamWraith
    Will Reggie run a reverse?
    By Jason Cole, Yahoo! Sports
    July 21, 2006

    Jason Cole
    Yahoo! Sports

    Video Reggie Bush highlight reel

    No. 2 overall pick and Heisman Trophy-winning running back Reggie Bush not only appears headed for a holdout with the New Orleans Saints, a league source said Bush is toying with the idea of sitting out the entire season and going back in the draft in 2007 if he doesn't get his price.

    "No player has ever had the kind of leverage that Reggie Bush has right now," the source said. "The Saints made it clear what they were willing to do before and now we'll see if they're going to get there."

    It seems unlikely the Saints will do that in time for Bush to report to training camp with the team on Thursday in Jackson, Miss. Two sources said that talks between the Saints and agent Joel Segal have been nearly non-existent.

    On Wednesday, Mike Ornstein, who is Bush's marketing agent, told the Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Miss., that he didn't think Bush would be signed in time for camp. Ornstein is not allowed to negotiate contracts, but he is acutely aware of all of Bush's business matters.

    One of the sources took that a step further, saying Segal was considering not having Bush sign at all. Segal declined to comment when contacted Friday and messages left with multiple members of the New Orleans organization weren't returned.

    While it appears unlikely on face value that Bush would sit out, he appears well-positioned to do so if he really wants.

    Bush supposedly has more than $5 million in the bank from multiple endorsement deals Ornstein has negotiated since Bush left the University of Southern California. That money is guaranteed regardless of whether Bush plays this season.

    Next, Bush could probably sit out 2006 and still be a high pick next year.

    Furthermore, Bush probably has the public sentiment running in his favor. Even though holdout players are generally unpopular, Bush has caused tremendous excitement in New Orleans.

    In May, shortly after Bush was drafted, the Saints had already set a franchise record for season-ticket sales, having topped 55,000 at that time. That's extraordinary, especially considering the condition of the hurricane-ravaged city.

    Moreover, team owner Tom Benson is immensely unpopular in New Orleans. Ranging from his hard-line negotiations with the city and state to constant threats that he will move the team, Benson is often treated with open scorn by Saints fans.

    Bush has also worked hard to endear himself to fans in the city after it came out that he didn't want to play in New Orleans. Bush has made multiple donations to hurricane relief.
    -07-22-2006, 11:31 AM
  • FestusRam
    Reginald Bush
    by FestusRam
    Who else thinks this would be an amazing pickup.

    Reggie Bush is the perfect complement to SJax and I can only imagine the plays Mcdaniel could brew up to use them both efficiently and to their strengths.
    -07-25-2011, 11:23 AM