When an owner gives a manager a vote of confidence in the sports world, it can usually be translated thusly: "You're outta here as soon as the season is over."

And yet after the mini-rift yesterday between Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan and President Bush, the White House clarified today that, "The president has a great deal of confidence in Chairman Greenspan."

Perhaps someone mentioned to Greenspan that Bush was part owner and managing general partner of the Texas Rangers several years ago, because the Fed chief has now "muted his initially chilly reception" of the president's economic stimulus proposal, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The disagreement really isn't as bad as some have implied. Greenspan's main difference of opinion centers on two issues: whether there's actually a need for any stimulus at this time -- Republican- or Democratic-backed -- and the perceived dangers of sharply increasing the deficit. However, he fully supports Bush's plan to eliminate the double taxing of dividends.

Still, key Republicans are fretting over Greenspan's remarks. The president's proposal was already guaranteed a tough time in the Senate, and this hesitancy from the respected Fed chief could be a deathblow.