Red Sox Spring PR Training
Spring training is off and running down at the Red Sox new facility in Ft. Myers, Fl. As the pitchers and catchers and field players are checking in, bobbing and weaving around the hungry mob of press people trying to get a good quote, one can only imagine that the PR machine is on overdrive getting them ready. Or it certainly should be.
One can imagine this scenario that just might be happening right now . . .
New Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine flashes perfectly white teeth as he calls his players together in the clubhouse.
"Listen up, guys. This is Les Moore and he's here to run you through some quick pointers for dealing with the press before you all go out there and face microphones. I'm already brilliant at this, so I'll be outside working on my tan. Take it, Les."
"Good morning, everyone. Yes, as Bobby said, this is your quick refresher on PR 101. I'm sorry I wasn't here earlier, but better late than never. We'll go over a few pointers and then we're going to have a special screening of Bull Durham, which includes the best advice on dealing with the media a baseball player can ask for -- that great scene where Crash Davis gives his new pitcher, Nuke LaLoosh, all the catch phrases he needs to handle any media interview. Remember that one?
"First thing to remember is: September is over. We're not addressing it, understood? Adrian, your comments about "they have to eat, whether it's chicken or steak" are being rerun endlessly. I think some radio station even put them to music. We don't discuss it. Don't even mention the word chicken, okay?
"Second thing is, we don't comment on anything the front office says or does, ever. Carl, I know you didn't like the John Henry comments in the fall about not wanting you on the team. You know he was taken out of context, right? And I know they caught you off guard when you said it bothered you. But look how that's being covered all over the place! Henry even had to make a statement and, believe me, he hates having to do that. I think he missed a Liverpool goal doing that and we all know that's what he's focused on right now. So no comments from anyone about Henry, Lucchino, Ben. And, especially, no comments about Theo or Tito, ever. No matter what news comes out about what we get out of Chicago for Theo. That is if we get anything. Nothing. Not a word. Okay?
"Last thing: Nobody talks about our shortstop situation -- no one. Not even the guys who will be playing shortstop. You got that? It's off limits. Aviles and Punto, all you say if you're asked who is starting in that position and why we traded Scutaro is: 'I'm just here to help the team wherever my manager puts me.' That's it. Short and sweet. Give them nowhere to go. Lord knows we don't have an answer anyway. But don't even mention it. All right?
"Oh, one other thing. Valentine wants all of you to say how great you think he is going to be for the team this year. Say it however you want so it doesn't look rehearsed, but make sure you say something positive about him, okay?
"All right, any questions? No? Good. Let's go watch that Crash Davis scene. Bring the notepads and pens I passed out to take notes."