I watched my first press conference today. In the past, I have been either in school or at work, or just didn’t know when it was happening, or generally disinterested. Today, I was generally disinterested, but I was home and online, so I watched it on the laptop. After my first one, I don’t know that I’d go out of my way to watch another, but I think if I was home and online, I’d certainly have no qualms about dialing it up. So, some general thoughts on My First Press Conference, starring Cliff Lee…
Lee said that (and I’m really paraphrasing here) he didn’t want to give the impression that he didn’t want to be here (and mentioned the local press specifically), only that the trade had been a shock to him. Welcome to the club, guy, it was a shock for us, too. He came off at first fairly dry (must be something to do with Arkansas/Midwest mannerisms), but he does have a sense of humor; when asked about sticking around, he said with a smile that he wanted a ten year deal and $200M (EDIT: per Larry Stone on Twitter, and a few others who heard it correctly, including one reader here, Lee actually said $200 billion. Whatever the case, he’s obviously got a sense of humor, which is good). Otherwise, he seems super laid-back and relaxed. He acknowledged our defensive crew, likes the fact that the Safe is a pitcher’s park, and hopes the fans like him and that he doesn’t get booed. Somehow, I don’t think that will be a problem.
The whole putting-on of the hat and trying-on of the jersey thing during press conferences (or “pressers” as the kids are calling them these days) is far less ceremonious than I thought it would be. Lee and Jack Zduriencik stood for only a few moments while some flashes went off from the press corps. Then Lee put his jersey on (#36!), mentioned it was a “nice fit”, and sat down to take some more questions. Simple as that. Maybe I was hoping for some dramatic music or something, I guess, I don’t know. It was short and sweet. The rest of the show was typical, go-out-and-get-em-Tiger-win-win-win stuff between Lee and the press.
The whole shebang ended with Zduriencik asking in a rather heated tone for fans to stop positing on the Mariners’ payroll. It could have been just the way I read his tone, but he seemed genuinely annoyed that people keep publicly stating that they know what the payroll might be, saying that there was no way that they would release that information anyway, because of competition issues. Having seen a lot of this on fan forums, I know it exists, but cannot figure out why Zduriencik would care whether or not people think they know what they’re talking about, so I believe it was just a misread of his tone of voice on my part – either that, or there is money gossip going on in the press, and that was for them specifically. I for one don’t really care how much money that we have – I care about the guys on the field and how well they play the game. So mission accomplished there as far as I’m concerned – though I understand through a few grapevines that there are still moves upcoming – and this is just fine with me. The more the merrier, and things are pretty merry already!
Anyway, I’m feeling all warm and fuzzy inside now. I think I’ll wear my Putz t-shirt to dinner tonight. Go Mariners!