A lot of illusions about sports and the media come crashing down the first time you attend a real, live press conference, which looks different on TV than it feels in the room. Among these are formality, urgency and exclusivity.
See, the media is often thought of as a unified collective, almost like a state bar association or something of the like. But the truth is there is no formal vetting process to work in American media, and getting access to locker rooms and baseball clubhouses isn’t much of a trick. It’s just a bunch of people in a room. Anybody who really wants a press credential has one, somehow or another, and a lot of the people in there have a lot of other things to do that day.
I say all that to set up the following video from Prince Fielder’s retirement press conference today. It contained a question — a bad question — from a member of the assembled media who can’t be identified from the video alone. This is just as well, because the point here is not to shame any one person; all working journalists have on multiple occasions embarrassed themselves by asking a dumb question.
So, no, we are not going to rip this guy. We are going to share a knowing laugh, recognizing that all of us — journalist or no — has said something dumb at work.
Lou Gehrig died of what would come to be known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease on June 2, 1941, two years after delivering one of the most memorable speeches in American history.
Prince Fielder has a neck injury.