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Vince Vitrano: Not For Broadcast



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Either they're not using their PR staff, or they just don't care, but somebody has got to get to Ned Yost and help him help himself.

In my next incarnation, I'm going to be a media consultant, I think. Professionals will hire me to coach them in how to deal with... the old me... media.

The Milwaukee Brewers need a guy like that right now. It's the guy who gets to Ned Yost right before every news conference and helps him set his head and his strategy. Here's how our conversation would have gone the night Prince Fielder attacked Manny Parra like a wild bear in the woods.

VINCE: Ned, you know the first question in tonight's post game news conference is going to be, "What happened between Prince and Manny?" So what do you plan to say about that?

NED: I'm going to tell 'em it's none of their business.

VINCE: Wrong answer. They're the fans. It's all their business. It's why they were watching in the first place. Try again.

NED: I'm going to tell them what happens in the club house stays in the club house.

VINCE: Wrong. It happened in the dugout and everybody saw it. Try again.

NED: I'm going to call them nosey neighbors, and try to guilt them into abandoning the subject.

VINCE: And finally, wrong yet again. Those nosy neighbors, first off, sport the bill for your paycheck. They quit coming... they quit watching... you quit getting paid. Oh, also... if the couple next door is arguing in the kitchen and I just overhear some raised voices, it's probably none of my business. If the guy next door goes after his wife and starts pushing her around in the backyard where everybody can see it... I call the cops.

NED: What do you suggest I do, then?

VINCE: True or False, Ned? You want this to go away as soon as possible.

NED: True.

VINCE: True or False, Ned? You don't want to answer any more questions about this situation than you have to.

NED: True.

VINCE: Here are your choices, then. You go out there and make it sound like you're covering up Watergate, this isn't going to go away. In that room out there are guys who's livelihood depends on finding things out. You don't tell 'em what happened, they're going to dig until they find it.

That process can take days. It will divide your club house. Some guys will talk off the record, and leak things out. Some guys will wonder who did that. Other guys will pick sides. It will go on and on, and as every bit of new information trickles out slowly, the T.V. guys are going to run that video again of Prince going wild bear on Manny.

NED: That's not what I want.

VINCE: Then you go out there tonight and tell 'em the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth... so help you God. You take all their questions. You answer them as best you can, with at least some detail. Then, guess what? It's over in 24 hours. Once every paper has published the story, every talk show has taken calls, and every news show has run the video... there's nothing left. So it's over.

Here's what you say:

Well guys, that didn't look real good, did it? (nervous laughter from the media) I mean, I'll have no worries about Manny pitching game 7 of the World Series. He'll never look more scared then he did when Prince got up in his face. (media laughing a little more now... thinking to themselves... wow... this Ned sure is a decent guy)

Look... here's what went down. Prince got into Manny for having a rough outing... and he did. I mean, I love Manny and he's going to be great, but he had a crummy night. So Prince got frustrated and got in his face about it. Manny took exception to that, and Prince took exception to Manny taking exception. Yadda, yadda, yadda, Prince went after him. Not cool. You can't do that.

I don't want my guys literally fighting each other. I certainly don't want them doing it in the dugout during a game. I'm going to remind them that they're every move is on T.V. I'm going to remind them, that I'm not here to officiate boxing matches. I'm going to remind them that their actions cause me to have to come out here and answer your questions.

I'm probably going to give Prince a day off.  He needs to know that we can't have guys attacking other guys. That said, it was a dust up between a couple of fellas who are passionate about winning. I guess I'd be more concerned if they were shrugging off losses like they're no big deal. I'm glad they're angry about losing, and their frustrations just boiled over.

I'll take a few questions now.

Brewers, that piece of advice was free. From here on out, I'm going to have to charge you. Oh, and Packers, I've got a few tips for you too, if you need them.



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