You have to like Lance Berkman. He’s got two great nicknames where most players have none, and he’s perfectly willing to hurl poisoned barbs at the Commissioner’s Office. Tuesday, he was at it again.
Jerry Crasnick (via ESPN.com) on Berkman’s comments regarding the Astros’ move next season from the National League, after half a century, to the American:
Berkman raised the stakes before a Grapefruit League game between the Cardinals and Astros in Kissimmee, telling ESPN.com and a reporter from another outlet, “I feel basically like the commissioner extorted Jim Crane into moving the Astros.”
Berkman didn’t back down when asked if he has conveyed those sentiments directly to Selig. He said he would be comfortable using the word “extort” if he talks to the commissioner.
“If he called me, I would tell him,” Berkman said. “I think that’s exactly what it was. To tell (Crane), ‘We’re going to hold the sale of the team up until you guys agreed to switch?’ It just happened that the Astros were being sold at an optimal time for that to happen.”
As I understand these things, extortion (or blackmail) is when I threaten you with something negative unless you do something for me.