Friday, August 3, 2012

What is the Purpose of Dugout Interviews?

They keep doing it. During national broadcasts, they love to interview people during the game. Right from the dugout. Managers. Pitching coaches. Players. It doesn’t seem to matter. They’ll talk to anyone who will strap on a headset. Why?

The main problem with the custom is that it takes the place of game footage. The longer the camera stays on David Price talking in the dugout, the less it’s on the action on the field. Why does the network assume this is ok? Why do they think we’ll want to miss game action to see a goofy guy wearing a headset? Personally, I tune into the games so that I can, I don’t know, actually watch the games. And, I don’t mean having the game in a little window while most of the screen it taken up by a manager. Even with that in mind, I could probably convince myself that the interviews were ok, if they were any good.

Has anyone ever said anything useful during an in-game interview? No. Every great once in a while the networks luck out and an injury or something happens just before the manager interview. Then, they get to have the manager say, right on camera, that the player came out of the game because he was hurt. What amazing insight. Otherwise, the questions are garbage.

The manager may talk about the pitcher. “He’s really throwing it well tonight.” Of course, I’m watching the game and can see he’s only given up one hit. I could assume he was throwing the ball pretty well without needing the “inside information” from the manager interview.

Lots of the time, the questions aren’t ever specific to the game. “How great is it to watch him get ready for his start?” “What influence does a star like him have on your clubhouse?” They couldn’t have asked those questions before the game? In fact, they probably did ask them before the game.

Are they hoping for something juicy? If they asked Bobby Valentine abut a poor Kevin Youkilis at-bat, are they hoping that Bobby will answer, “Yeah, he’s just awful. Isn’t he? I didn’t want to play him tonight, but my coaches wrote his name on the line-up card without telling me. I guess he needs to be in there because Ben’s trading him to the Phillies, but they need to see if he can steal a base first. If the dumbass ever gets to first, they’re making me tell him to steal. Friggin front office.” Because, I have a scoop for them. Even Bobby V isn’t going to say that.

So, we’re left with mindless chatter. It’s fluff, when there’s no need for fluff. Besides, isn’t that what the sideline guy is for? Isn’t he supposed to be gathering insight about the performances in the game?

Why do we need the dugout interviews?

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