Tagged: Jason Zillo

A-Rod Meets The Media: Press Conference Or Circus?

It’s the eve of A-Rod’s arrival in Tampa, and I’m busily imagining how the event will go. Reports tell us that the Yankees have erected a makeshift picnic tent on the grounds of Steinbrenner Field, and are expecting between 150-200 members of the media to attend. Also present will be management (Cashman and Girardi), the “core Yankees” (Jeter, Mo, Pettitte and Posada), the brand new crop (CC, AJ and Tex) and some stalkers stragglers (Selena Roberts). What I foresee isn’t a presser at all but an actual three-ringer.

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First, we’ll have an introduction by Yankees media relations director Jason Zillo, who will double as the ringmaster.
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Then, it’ll be on with the show. A-Rod will make a brief statement in which he will attempt several daring circus feats.
* He will juggle a tone of remorse with the “everybody was doing it back then” explanation, thereby making himself one of these.

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 * He will name the specific banned substance(s) he took, causing the crowd to gasp in horror and delight, just as they would if he did this.
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* He will swear that he stopped using PEDs before he became a Yankee and reference his enormous pride in wearing pinstripes, his words soaring like one of these.

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 * He will apologize to the Steinbrenner family, his teammates and the fans, and he will pledge his commitment to winning a championship. It will be painful for him as he glances over at Jeter, and he will feel a catch in his throat, as if he were one of these.
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* And finally, he will try to convince everyone that he doesn’t care about his personal accomplishments, even as he tears up about his Hall of Fame hopes. His mixed message will turn him into one of these.
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Mercifully, Jason Zillo will step in and invite the media to ask questions. The reporters will clamor for the microphone and talk over each other so nobody can hear anybody and demonstrate how much they resemble these.
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The first reporter to grab the mic will be Selena Roberts, who will brazenly leak the other 103 names on The List, recite many salacious tidbits about A-Rod from her forthcoming book and cause those of us watching to regard her as one of these.
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Can’t wait to see if I’m right about any of this, but I bet Barnum and Bailey will be looking down and wishing they had a piece of the action.

Mark Teixeira’s Press Conference – Before It Happens

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The newest Yankee won’t be introduced to the media until 1 p.m. Eastern, but I already know the drill.
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A Yankees person, probably media relations director Jason Zillo, will present Mrs. Teixeira – Leigh – with a dozen long-stemmed roses. 
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(She’s the brunette.)
Cashman will gush about Tex while looking oddly detached.
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Hal will be present but not say a word.
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Girardi will drape Tex in his new pinstriped jersey.
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Tex will model the jersey and try not to be blinded by all the flashbulbs.
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And now the Q&A. Here’s how I think it will go.
“Hey, Mark. Pete Abraham from the Journal News. How does it feel to be a Yankee?”
“Incredible. I’m still pinching myself. I grew up idolizing Don Mattingly, so I always wanted to play for the Yankees.”
“Hi, Mark. Tyler Kepner from the New York Times. You turned down a substantial offer from the Red Sox. Was there some bad feeling on your part from your dealings with them in the past?”
“Not at all. Not at all. They’re a great organization. I have nothing but respect for them and I’m looking forward to being part of the awesome rivalry.”
“Hey, Mark. Mark Feinsand from the Daily News. You’re from the DC/Baltimore area. Did you give serious thought to playing in front of a home crowd with either the O’s or the Nationals?”
“I did, but the Yankees are winners, with so much history and tradition. I want to help us win more championships.”
George King. New York Post. Talk about the pressure of playing in New York, Mark. The big contract. The new stadium. A crowd of 55,000 people booing you if you get off to a slow start. Any of that worry you?”
“I put more pressure on myself than anyone else could ever put on me. So no. I’m not worried. From what I’ve seen, Yankee fans are the best fans in baseball.”
George King with a follow up. A source told me you and Alex Rodriquez hate each other’s guts from your Texas Rangers days. True?”
“Um, I don’t know where that rumor came from. I have tremendous respect for Alex and the way he plays the game. I’m really looking forward to being his teammate.”
George King again. Another source told me you read books in your spare time. That’s kind of weird for a ballplayer.”
“I don’t read books. I hunt and fish and hit golf balls. No books.”
“Then what about this poster?”
George holds up the evidence for everyone to see.
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There’s an audible gasp in the room. More flashbulbs. Mark is caught in his first lie as a Yankee.
“O.K. So I read one stupid book before it even came out. It was right after I signed with the Yankees. I wanted to find out what the fans here are really like.”
“Hello, Mark. John Sterling, the voice of the Yankees on WCBS. Was the book Jane Heller’s ‘Confessions of a She-Fan,’ by any chance? I heard I’m the hero of it.”
“Yeah, that’s it. You’re not the hero, but you have a bunch of scenes. Like that dinner where you let her try on your World Series rings. Oh, and when you said you never ever go to the bathroom during the games. LOL, John. Seriously.”
Jason Zillo steps to the podium. “Thanks, everybody. That’s all for today.”