Emergency Media Training for Adrian Gonzalez
Adrian, it's Les More. You remember -- the media trainer. We last met in September. I'm the guy who said to stop talking about chicken and beer. Remember I told you that your quote about people needing to eat, whether it was chicken or steak, wasn't what I had in mind? Yes, that was me.
I didn't make the trip to Kansas City, but I've been watching the coverage -- and the games, of course -- and you're really taking it on the chin. I wanted to talk with you to give you some pointers to deal with the current negative tone in the media.
Adrian, it is negative, trust me. I know Albert Pujols is doing worse right now, but we're not talking about him. That's a different situation. We have a team issue right now and, increasingly, you are becoming the focus. And some of the things you are saying -- or not saying -- aren't helping. Will you let me help you? I won't take long. I just want to give you a few pointers, okay?
Okay, let's start with the Peter Abraham interview. Number one, it's good that you faced the music head on and talked with an important reporter like Peter. Good move. But you and I should have chatted first.
I know he grabbed you at your locker, but you can always tell him right now isn't great and set another time. Remember we talked about that? Then you and I could have planned it a little better.
I liked what you said about winning being all you cared about, since it’s all about the team.
“I’d rather go 0 for 8 and win than go 3 for 5 and lose. All I really care about is winning.’’
Good quote. But the quote that's resonating out there isn't that one. It's the one where you predict your on-base and slugging percentage by end of season. That's all about stats and about you. That's not about the team.
"The only thing I can say is that when the last day of the season comes, [his slugging percentage] is going to be over .500 and the on-base is going to be around .400. You may not see it right now because it’s May 7. But I promise you when the season is over, the slugging will be over .500 and the on-base will be around .400. It is every year.”
I know you feel like you can't win if you talk and you can't win if you don't talk. I get that. Let me suggest a few things you do over the next few weeks while this is still raging, okay?
Here are a few phrases you might consider using. Put them in your own words, of course:
We all are working very hard every day to figure things out so we can play better and win more games.
If you have any stats about how much time you all are spending in the batting cages or how early you get to the park to work out, run that by me. Might be good to add those in. Also, if you've been running at all or working on your speed to first, let's consider talking about that too. Yeah, it comes up a lot.
The fans deserve our 150 percent effort every single day and we don't want to let them down. They are the best fans in baseball.
I know it's corny, but they need to hear that you guys care, especially the guys like you who have big contracts. This kind of stuff can't be said enough.
Beyond those two statements, I wouldn't discuss anything about your own personal stats. If you have a great game, you use a variation of this to say this is what you've been working on. If you have a bad game, say you're still working hard every day and know that the fans deserve your best and the team's best. Keep it simple. Make sure they know you care. I don't like hearing the J.D. Drew comparisons, Adrian. We have to nip those in the bud.
Okay, I know you have to go. Did you write this stuff down? Okay, I'll email it to you. Just stick to this and check with me before you accept any sit-down interviews, okay?
See you back in Boston. Bring back some wins.