Ok, forget all this OPS/RF/WARP statistical evaluation garbage for a second. Scott Rolen just clearly laid down a first-ballot-hall-of-fame press conference. For anyone who actually cares about the man or what was wrong with him last year, go check out the recap of the press conference or the pitch f/x look at him last year. Otherwise, let’s just recap his wacky and amusing antics.
As much as Troy could mash the ball during those increasingly-rare moments he could stand up straight without tears rolling down his face, he was never particularly glib or at all memorable. Heck, even his rather amusing commercial relied on a distainful smirk and some smug silence.
But Rolen? Check out his sarcasm and self-mockery when facing routine dry-as-a-bone questions during last night’s press conference!
About his shoulder: “I couldn’t believe I passed my physical.”
About his range of motion: I say it all the time. I’m ready to go. I’m ready to go. But the reality is last year I played 4 months hurt and kept telling people I was ready to go, so maybe I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about.
About the Turf in the Rogers Center: (incredulously) “You guys have turf?!”
About his feud with Tony Larussa: “There will be a time that will come up, when I can explain it in more…obscure ways than I can right now.”
About his new number: (after he realizes he’s rambling) “It’s difficult. I mean. My high school diploma, no community service, no nothing. I went straight through and got it myself. So we educated baseball players, we have these stories, we have these big things we have to put up with, you know these huge decisions, like what number am I going to wear, this is a BIG DEAL for us”.
Asked about coming to the AL East for the first time: (philosophically) “Seems as though I’m destined to fail.”
Asked about his new manager: (understatedly) “I’m thinking he might be from the south?”
Ok, it doesn’t sound like much in print. But c’mon- a ballplayer actually referring to how stupid the average dilemma of a professional athlete really is and how much we care about them? (Thanks for jumping right on that burning uniform number issue, Jamie Campbell!) A ballplayer actually having some fun with the issues that obviously have to be trotted out despite the lame replies he has to spout back to avoid getting into anything serious? What athlete has ever made fun of themselves in a press conference and looked good doing it??
I could care less this man has blown himself out of two baseball towns (that adored him) for no particular reason, dude is a charmer in small doses. Too bad the opening anecdote about his 3-year daughter was bit of a flop. Up north we don’t really do the sentimental angle, come January it’s all about pathos and bile.