On Tuesday, Daniel Brown of The Athletic published a fantastic article about locker room interviews gone wrong. He got dozens of writers and reporters to rehash their most awkward, uncomfortable, unpleasant, or perhaps just most curious incident with an athlete.
It was a Northern California-centric article, so there were a few stories involving the San Francisco Giants. One such one was from Lowell Cohn, a writer I’ll admit I’ve often criticized for taking athlete interactions too personally, and airing them too publicly.
But this story — excerpted from his book — was spectacular:
The Giants got Duane Kuiper in 1982 to play second base. I had read he had a bad knee, figured it would hurt his range at second. I wrote the Giants were crazy to sign a guy with an 80-year-old knee.
Now, it was early in the season and I was in the Giants clubhouse at Candlestick Park before a game. Kuiper walked over and politely introduced himself. Said he had read my article about his knee.
“I’ll tell you what,’’ he said in the velvet voice he now brings to his Giants play-by-play announcing. He was grinning. “There’s an old man outside the clubhouse right now. He is 80 years old. Let’s go out there and we’ll ask him to kick you in the nuts. After he’s done, I’ll kick you in the same place. Then you’ll see if I have an 80-year-old knee.”
I don’t have any notable uncomfortable interview stories, though I’ve never covered baseball in that capacity. The closest I’ve gotten is when former Golden State Warriors guard Quinn Cook — a tremendously polite and enjoyable athlete — used some colorful language in telling me he had no interest in talking to me.
But that was A) me not yet understanding locker room dynamics, and B) about 10 minutes after Draymond Green and Kevin Durant got into a now infamous locker room altercation, which I didn’t yet know about.
So I’m not holding any grudges.
Okay, your turn. It doesn’t have to be in the locker room — what are some memorable interactions you’ve had with athletes?
Did Barry Bonds hit a home run today?
May 13, 1994: Against the Cincinnati Reds, Bonds hit a 3-run home run in the 2nd inning off of John Smiley, scoring Kirt Manwaring and Mark Portugal. It gave the Giants a 5-1 lead, and they would win 9-5. It was his 9th home run of the year.
May 13, 2000: Against the Colorado Rockies, Bonds hit a solo home run in the 7th inning off of Pedro Astacio. It cut the Giants deficit to 9-7, but they would lose 10-9. It was his 15th home run of the year.
May 13, 2002: Against the Atlanta Braves, Bonds hit a 2-run home run in the 3rd inning off of Kevin Millwood, scoring Rich Aurilia. It gave the Giants a 4-2 lead, and they would win 7-6. It was his 13th home run of the year.
- Grant Brisbee continues his countdown of the best homers in San Francisco history, with 20-16 (The Athletic, subscription required)
- Grant Brisbee with his next installment of the Giants OOTP simulation (The Athletic, subscription required)
- Alex Pavlovic on notable Giants players a five-round draft would have missed (NBC Sports Bay Area)
- Maria Guardado ranks the top five right fielders in franchise history (MLB)
- Jessica Kleinschmidt on how Bryce Harper respected Hunter Strickland for wanting to fight (NBC Sports Bay Area)
- Andrew Baggarly on why Joey Bart should make the opening day roster (The Athletic, subscription required)
- Alex Pavlovic on what expanded rosters would mean for the Giants prospects (NBC Sports Bay Area)
Have a tremendous Wednesday, everyone.