JEFF PEARLMAN: So I’ve always wanted to ask a ballplayer this, especially one I covered. When I was on the beat, I loathed the ritualistic nonsense of the clubhouse. What I mean is—I enter the room, I need to talk to Shawn Green. I see you at your locker. I wait to come over, you’re talking to Carlos Delgado, I pause, then I approach, you pick up a magazine, I pause. You know I’m there, I presume, but keep reading. I finally come over, ask a banal ice-breaker. Are you, as a player, as aware of this as I am?
SHAWN GREEN: The truth is, in general athletes don’t like the media. There are always certain guys you like, and there are always certain guys you can’t stand. The other writers all sort of get lumped into the middle. And, obviously, as an athlete the bigger you are in the game, the more attention you get. For me … well, it depended. In Los Angeles a lot of the players didn’t like T.J. Simers, because he could be very critical. I actually liked him, because I felt like I understood what he was doing. He would poke you, hope you’d blow up, then he’d poke you the rest of your life. I just never blew up, and I spoke to him without any incident or problem. What I didn’t like were the reporters who would just show up every once in a while, act like they were your best friend, then crush you in print. I understand reporters have to do their jobs, but that’s what bothered me—when it was unfair.
As for the clubhouse, there are definitely times as a player, it’s an unwritten thing, but you mess with reporters and make them wait a little while. I was much more likely to lean that way if I had a great game than a bad game. When I had a bad game I just wanted to take my medicine and move on.