10 Baseball Players Reporters Hate to Interview
There are some baseball players that reporters love to interview, and others that reporters hate to interview.
Reporters know that getting prime real estate in sports pages and eliciting coverage on sports radio often necessitates interviewing players who have something interesting or controversial to say.
So naturally, they hate to interview players who generally give the “company line” or who are unlikely to give that “juicy” quote.
Plus, like anyone, they hate to interview jerks.
With that said, let’s take a look at 10 players from the last couple of decades who reporters hate to interview.
Maybe it’s a result of him being overshadowed throughout his career by Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder, but Corey Hart has done a good job avoiding the press. Or maybe the lack of attention is due to Hart’s inability to give a lot of good soundbites in interviews or press conferences.
As you can see from this interview taken during the 2011 National League Division Series, Hart shows very little emotion and gives only basic, uncontroversial answers, like this:
Q: What is the best part of playing on this team right now?
A: Just, it’s fun…
That’s not exactly the sort of dialogue that ESPN commentators love to discuss.
Like Corey Hart, Jay Bruce has managed to stay under the radar, probably because he’s overshadowed by Joey Votto. Bruce is another one of baseball’s “good guys.”
When I interview someone at the All-Star Game, I want to hear how this player thinks he’s better than the rest, or how he’s going to hit a home run off of one of the game’s best pitchers. Do I want to hear how much of an honor it is to experience the game and how he wants to just have fun? Definitely not.
“All of it” in response to a question about what he was excited for is not a comment that ESPN interrupts regularly scheduled programming for.
Is Jay Bruce someone I’d like to grab a beer with? Sure. Is he someone I would interview? Definitely not.
Milton Bradley’s a jerk, which explains why he’s been run out of so many cities in which he's played. Usually, reporters love to interview that type of person.
But as the interview here shows, Bradley can be more than a little rude to reporters. He barely answers the questions asked, and his most memorable quote is “I love me.”
He was also the subject of controversy during the 2004 playoffs, when he called Los Angeles Times writer Jason Reid an “Uncle Tom” and a “sellout” when asked about his treatment of opposing teams’ fans.
While Bradley has been known to give a reporter a juicy quote or two, his arrogance and disrespect makes Bradley a player that most reporters should hate to interview.
Mark Beuhrle’s known as one of the good guys of baseball. He is always friendly and never takes out any frustration on reporters.
But he also doesn’t give reporters a lot of sound bites. Take the interview here, after he threw a perfect game in 2009. Clearly, he is excited to have thrown a perfect game, but he still is mostly reserved and keeps his emotions inside.
He also generally tries to avoid giving interviews.
Mark Beuhrle is definitely the kind of player fans love, but to a reporter looking to get a sound bite, he is nobody’s first choice.
This act immediately cemented his reputation in the Big Apple as a player hostile to the press.
Apart from this incident, Johnson was never well-liked by members of the press because he was a jerk.
And since Johnson rarely gave reporters a juicy quote, they tried to stay away.
Unfortunately, no video seems to be available of one of the most disrespectful interactions of all time between a baseball player and reporters. If you can find it, please post a link!
More than two hours before Game 3 of the 1995 World Series, Albert Belle, whose Cleveland Indians trailed the Atlanta Braves 2-0, came into the team’s dugout and started screaming at the reporters who were there.
Reports are that Belle said, "All you media [expletive], get the [expletive] out of here now."
Most of the media left (even though they were allowed to be there), except for NBC’s Hannah Storm.
She stayed, and had to endure about five more minutes of Belle’s expletives.
The next spring, Belle was fined $50,000.
As much as a reporter may want to interview one of the best players in the game, no one wants to endure the wrath Storm did in 1995.
“It’s so special to have my family here.”
“The Minnesota people are just really, really good people.”
What kind of reporter wants to hear that after a player hits his 600th home run?
Jim Thome is without a doubt one of the best all-around people in baseball. But if you want a controversial quote that will get your article a front-page headline, better look somewhere else.
Is Thome the kind of player a reporter would love to spend time and have a conversation with? Absolutely.
But is he the kind of player a reporter would want to interview for a front-page article? Absolutely not.
A lot of baseball’s all-time jerks were left off of this list, because even though they might not be nice people, they gave reporters a lot to write about.
But reporters hated to interview Barry Bonds.
He would frequently attack the media and treat them with contempt.
In this highlight reel of Bonds’ interviews, he calls questions stupid and compares being interviewed to an episode of Sanford and Son.
In another, he accuses reporters of lying.
No one likes being yelled at or being called stupid, so interviewing Barry Bonds could not have been a reporter’s favorite activity.
Roy Halladay is probably the best pitcher in the game today.
He’s also probably the most boring.
Look at the press conference seen here, taken immediately after Halladay threw the second no-hitter in postseason history in 2010. If I didn’t know he had thrown a no-hitter, I might have thought the Philadelphia Phillies had lost their game based on Halladay's overall demeanor.
Halladay’s a great pitcher, but he’s not a great interviewee.
Derek Jeter always says the right thing…
…which is why reporters hate to interview him.
He is always able to relate a question to his desire to win games and championships, as he did in 2009 when asked about A.J. Burnett’s new tradition of hitting each player who had a walk-off hit with a pie in the face.
When asked his opinion, Jeter’s response was along the lines of, “I’m OK with it because it means we won.” Where’s the drama in that?
In the interview seen here from 2007, after the Yankees had overcome a 21-29 record to go 94-68 and win the American League Wild Card, Jeter does not get completely caught up in the excitement and reminds the viewer that “We’ve [the Yankees] got a long way to go.”
Fans love him and reporters respect him. But they’re never going to get a juicy quote from the Captain, which is why reporters hate to interview him.