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Candidates Talk a Good Game on ESPN

Sen. John F. Kerry and President Bush give interviews for a special edition of the 'SportsCenter' program to be aired next week.

October 28, 2004|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — President Bush says he loved his time as managing general partner of the Texas Rangers, but isn't interested in a job as baseball commissioner when he's out of work at the White House.

"I'm not sure what I'd like to do after serving the country," Bush said in an ESPN "SportsCenter" interview to be broadcast on the eve of Tuesday's general election.

"But I had a wonderful time in baseball," Bush said. "I loved my time there. I still love to watch the games; there's nothing more therapeutic than watching a baseball game."

The president and Sen. John F. Kerry will appear in the half-hour special edition Monday. The network released several highlights of the interviews, conducted by Jim Gray, which included questions about ticket prices and publicly funded stadiums.

"As a former owner I feel they better be careful, because they'll price themselves out of the reach of the consumer," warned Bush. "I was always concerned when I was with the Rangers, that our ticket prices would become so high that the family would be priced out of baseball and I've always felt that baseball was a family sport."

Kerry said he had supported stadiums that were funded by taxpayers.

"I want to make certain that when you do that again, these other kinds of things are balanced," he said. "The minute you get the public piece in there, then you have a right to demand some sort of public accountability. And the sports people can't have it both ways in my judgment."

The Democratic challenger also said he didn't think Pete Rose should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

"He'd be a slam dunk on performance," Kerry said. "But as we know from Shoeless Joe [Jackson] and other experiences, gambling is treated differently and it's over the line."

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