More discord out in Bristol today, as fan favorite Scott Van Pelt has been suspended from his ESPN radio show. His crime? A swear word? Several swear words? Going Bobby Knight and dropping effenheimers all over the place? No, according to DEADSPIN, who’s breaking yet another ESPN story, it was a biting rant on Bud Selig and his $18.5 million salary that raised the ire of ESPN execs.
Nobody seems to have audio of the segment in question (yet), but evidently it was personal enough to warrant a measure of discipline from ESPN.
Now, we can’t help but notice that ESPN and MLB just so happen to be rather pleasant business partners, so that sliding scale of professionalism might be a little different for baseball commentary than with, say, hockey, which ESPN has conveniently forgotten about since dropping their TV deal with the NHL. Said Deadspin:
Selig does have close relationships with many of ESPN’s top execs ( they are currently locked in an 8-year, $2.4 billion broadcast deal from 2005 for Sunday Night Baseball and have other contracts with MLB) and the initial story was that Selig himself heard the remarks and was personally offended by them, but that hasn’t been confirmed.
But while a suspension from the radio show seems harsh, it’s actually little more than a slap on the wrist.
That’s because–as far as we know–Van Pelt still has his seat at the SportsCenter desk, anchoring the show. Furthermore, this radio suspension can’t last for more than six weeks, because as we reported last month, Van Pelt’s show is already being phased out of the ESPN radio rotation anyway.
So Van Pelt’s got a little more than a month left before they axe his spot to clear room for Colin Cowherd’s ever expanding ego; why wouldn’t he take the opportunity to drop a few bombs on the sports radio world from here on out? As long as it doesn’t affect his anchor spot, that is; nobody wants to see him commit career suicide over a medium so dead it makes the newspaper business look like the oil industry.
As soon as anyone finds audio of the rant, we’d love to hear it; anything that elicits a suspension and a Deadspin commenter saying “It was 100% [fornicating] spot on and the only intelligent thing I’ve heard on ESPN Radio… maybe ever” and involves Bud Selig and a “pimp cup” is must-hear material.