That rookie is me. I posted a week or so ago looking for advice on who to interview down at Spring Training for our follow up documentary to Boys of Summer. I was very fortunate to have the very kind help of Comcast Sports A's Insider, Joe Stiglich, He gave me the scoop on clubhouse etiquette before hand. Among other things, he told me to approach players at their lockers, avoid those at the tables in the middle, and that we'd have about 60-90 minutes to get what we needed. Even after the sage advice, I had a rough go. That's no one's fault but my own - and the situation of being the opposite of Joe; in other words, an outsider.
After receiving my press credential, I promptly walked into the clubhouse the wrong way (through the players entrance, rather than the media elevator). Well, no one stopped me. I waited in the wrong hallway for about 15 minutes before daring adventure in (not wanting to go the wrong way without realizing I had already begun by going the wrong way meaning I was just wrong all the way).
It's an interesting thing running into your favorite players in person on their turf. It's not the same as being a fan in the stadium, where they expect you. In the clubhouse, I was a media member - but still clearly a fan (and wanting to be known as such, wearing my A's gear). I was hoping this would earn me kudos - I think it just got me hairy eyeballs as in, who's this kook?
I found Joe and we talked a bit. Again: great guy. He was working, though, so I didn't take too much of his time (as it turned out, the serious rumors of Jarrod Parker's arm troubles were starting to leak this morning). I found my first target, Josh Reddick, waited until what I assumed was the appropriate time, and approached. I made my pitch to interview him which, because it was to be on video, needed to be outside of the clubhouse. He listened politely and said he'd try to catch up with me. I get these guys are working and the last thing I want to do is be a pain in the rear. I approached Billy Beane. He was also kind in listening to me - and also busy. Brandon Moss, Josh Donaldson - same and same. I finally got a hit with Sonny Gray. He was in a pinch for time, too, but he gave me five minutes on camera. Couldn't have been a nicer guy.
As time was ticking down on my opportunity to talk to the guys, Josh Donaldson came up and said he needed to get out to the field. It was a split squad day, with many of the players staying in Phoenix to hit and do drills while the others headed up to Surprise. I thanked him and wished him luck, feeling like I'd squandered my opportunity. I spotted Reddick at his locker and gave one last swing. He looked at me like I was a bit crazy - and admittedly, the request was out of left (which must have disoriented him as he plays right) - but ultimately agreed.
What was the request? Take a look at how it played out in this video.
I can't say enough about how cool Josh was. The video showed some of it, but he also hung out and let me interview him for another five minutes. A great guy who just made a kid's year and a fan for life…and my son liked him, too.