The ESPN Baseball Today podcast, which for years was right behind Baseball America, This American Life, and Ricky Gervais on my podcast listen list, is dead. Peter Pacarelli has been fired. And now, it's boring as hell.
If you've ever listened to Baseball Today, you know that Pascarelli is the star of the show. He was often repetitive, rarely all that insightful, and could barely pronounce the names of players with names any more complicated than "Adam Jones," but his low-key, grumpy humor and clear love of baseball was a good fit for the low-fi format of podcasting.
Now, he's apparently been canned by the suits at ESPN. Why? According to widespread rumors, he was fired for making fun of Bud Selig. Seriously. Apparently Selig is building a statue of himself in front of Miller Park, and Pascarelli said he thinks the statue will look better after the pigeons poop all over it.
The Big Lead runs down the details, if you want more. And apparently, this isn't the first time this has happened either. Scott Van Pelt was suspended last year by ESPN for criticizing Bud Selig's salary. (Imagine if they had the same rule for players' salaries. What would they talk about?)
Now, if Pacarelli had really been honest, he would have said Selig is a crooked monopolist and a scourge on baseball. He didn't say that Selig flushed a century of tradition and credibility by winking at the widespread use of steroids. He didn't say Selig destroyed baseball for tens of millions of young fans by allowing the disappearance of any semblance competitive balance. He didn't say Selig should be hauled away in handcuffs for conspiracy to extort trillions of dollars of taxpayer money.
He said that he thinks the statue will look better after pigeons poop on it. Puh-leeze. I say bring back Pascarelli, and shit-can Bud Selig.
P.S. Don't worry--I'm not going to ask you to give money to Peter Pascarelli.