SURPRISE, Ariz. – The K&C Masterpiece is back at Texas Rangers Spring Training!
That’s right, 105.3 The Fan sent us to Arizona once more and the Rangers allowed us back despite the fact that last year we stole Adrian Beltre’s parking spot … sorry about that again Adrian, I mean Mr. Beltre … and the controversy surrounding Prince Fielder hitting me in the junk with a whiffle ball bat to pay off a bet surrounding the 2015 season.
So, we are on our best behavior this year. Well … mostly.
We’ve already had great conversations with Tony Barnette, Matt Bush, Brady Dragmire, Jeremy Jeffress and Keone Kela, all of which you can hear … shameless plug alert … from 7-11pm Central (a thing I only say since we’re in the weirdo Mountain Time Zone) this week on 105.3 The Fan.
But then there was Nomar Mazara.
During our clubhouse visit Monday, the 21-year-old, second-year outfielder was nice enough to give us a few minutes – and then Cory and I totally screwed it up!
Apparently, we only excel at interviewing pitchers.
I say this because there’s a good chance you won’t hear the interview any time from 7- well, just look up a couple paragraphs, you know when … shameless plug alert No. 2 … the top-rated nighttime radio show in the entire Metroplex for the last two years is on.
For those unfamiliar with clubhouse etiquette, we’re allowed to come in and talk with the guys for a pre-determined amount of time (today it was an hour). The players move in and out, frequently using their phones but also sometimes just standing or sitting at their lockers.
Or, as our producer Colby Sapp put it, “It’s like going up and asking to talk to a girl … but it’s not a girl.”
So, Cory started our interview with Mazara using that analogy and asking if he was, “Ever nervous about whether media wanted to come up and talk to him?” Seeing as how the corner outfielder had no context, he shut it down and said, “no.” Cory doubled down and asked if
Mazara was ever nervous to talk to the media and, once again, Mazara simply said, “no.” The next few questions (several of which were significantly more serious and baseball focused) were met with short answers as well.
We needed to do something.
“Luckily, I haven’t run into too many situations where interviews have gone bad,” said Matt Hicks, part of the Rangers play-by-play team with Baseball Hall of Famer Eric Nadel. “But when it does, I usually just try to completely change course with the questions.”
Well, that’s what we tried … but it didn’t work!
I thought for sure we’d hook him with our next question, “What’s your go-to movie snack?”
Mazara responded, “Popcorn,” and then appeared ready to elaborate … alright, here we go! At least that’s what I thought until he said, “But I haven’t been out to the movies in a long time, so I don’t know.” I then asked what the last movie he saw was, but Mazara couldn’t remember. The remainder of the interview included several of those trademark glares, which we mimicked to Rangers manager Jeff Bannister when asking for advice on other things to ask Mazara in the future.
Banister’s response gave us reason to be optimistic … sort of.
“I wouldn’t take it too personally,” he said of Mazara’s stoic stares, “that’s how he looks at everybody.”
The point of all this?
Well, media people love to talk about all the times they were right or their great interviews, so I wanted to take you behind the scenes of one interview we got terribly wrong. But we had a great chat with Mazara at Spring Training last year, so I’m determined to try and interview him again before we leave Arizona … hopefully then, we’ll get it right.