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Quote of the Day: Zack Greinke tells us how he really feels about the press

Feb 22, 2011, 5:06 PM EDT

Brewers-Getting Greinke

Zack Greinke‘s difficulty socializing with fans, the press and his teammates is well-documented. It’s all a part of his struggle with social anxiety disorder and he does the best he can with it. It’s not easy, I’m sure, but if there is one upside to it at all, it’s that he can be be 100% honest with the media and no one is going to give him crap for it.

To that end, here he is today talking to the Milwaukee media about whey he prefers pre-scheduled press availabilities instead of the usual walk-up-talk-up dynamic in the clubhouse:

“Probably 99% of the time I do it like this is because every day I come to the park and want to get focused on my start, and then random people come and waste my time talking every day. It takes eight minutes to get a real question out because they’re like buttering me up. Then they get to the question and it’s a stupid question. So it’s a waste of 10 minutes, and in that 10-minute time I don’t get to do what I needed to do.”

I bet there are a bunch of players in Major League Baseball who don’t suffer from social anxiety disorder who think the same thing and would love to be able to say it out loud.

  1. baseballisboring - Feb 22, 2011 at 5:22 PM

    Wow. He’s…so rude, but somehow I’m charmed by it.

  2. bigharold - Feb 22, 2011 at 5:27 PM

    ” So it’s a waste of 10 minutes, and in that 10-minute time I don’t get to do what I needed to do.”

    Stop Whining already. In the real world you have people asking dumb questions and making demands on your time, stupid, unreasonable or otherwise, all the time. And, in most cases they’re you Boss.

    Geez, it would seem so bad but a guy has to work pretty hard to be in MLB and it’s not like he could have assumed “talking” to people wasn’t part of it.

    • scatterbrian - Feb 22, 2011 at 5:39 PM

      Micromanagement from a boss isn’t really on par with beat writers distracting you from doing your job. The boss is able to fire you, and most likely, he considers your time his time. Beat writers for the most part are just trying to get a sound-bite, which should be less important than a pitcher preparing to do his job.

      • quintjs - Feb 22, 2011 at 7:01 PM

        I am not saying I disagree with what you are saying, but media relations is part of any pro athlethes job description. The people who pay the team who pay you want it, you do it.

        You may not like it, and you certainly have a right as Greinke is to schedule it to minimise impact, but it is part of your job.

      • bigharold - Feb 22, 2011 at 7:14 PM

        Dealing with the media and the fans is part of the job and if he thought otherwise he’s either stupid or naive. He has a right to like or dislike aspects of his job but at 13.5 mil a year perhaps he should keep his mouth shut and just do it lest he appear to be just one more pampered athlete, … which is what he sounds like.

      • paul621 - Feb 22, 2011 at 8:19 PM

        Yeah, he can like it or dislike it, and that’s what he’s doing. Keep his mouth shut? So he shouldn’t have answered the question at all? That’s so much better. It’s not like he called a press conference to discuss this; someone asked him about it, he answered. Too often people get upset about a player “whining,” when really it’s just an honest answer to a question. A lot of “whining” from athletes would disappear if questions on loaded topics (playing time, contracts, unwritten rules, etc…) weren’t asked in the first place. Sometimes the only choices are lie, “whine,” or “no comment.” Which do you prefer?

      • Old Gator - Feb 23, 2011 at 1:16 PM

        Here’s the breakdown from Geinke’s contract that specifies that answering stupid questions is indeed part of what he’s getting paid for:

        Playing baseball: $13,499,999.75
        Answering stupid questions: 25¢

        Yep. There it is, in black and white.

  3. baseballisboring - Feb 22, 2011 at 5:30 PM

    Social anxiety disorder is definitely difficult though…I have it, and have a really hard time connecting with people and making new friends because of it. I’m in college and I don’t really go to parties because it’s stressful and uncomfortable to be around that many people I don’t know, even if I’m hammered. I definitely do everything I can to avoid running into people and having to force awkward small talk, it just leaves you feeling embarrassed. So, I really don’t blame him. I don’t think you can ever get past it 100 percent.

    • Old Gator - Feb 22, 2011 at 5:58 PM

      I don’t have social anxiety disorder, yet I hate stupid questions. Fortunately, I love telling people who ask stupid questions that their questions are stupid. As a result, few people ask me stupid questions anymore – especially the really stupid ones like “psst, did you know your fly is open?”

    • cur68 - Feb 22, 2011 at 8:43 PM

      I don’t like admitting it, but me too (actually I’m more social phobic, but its roughly the same). Its easier being alone; no one in your space doing unpredictable things. What a load of stress. Good for Greinke, anyways. I wish I had that platform where I could tell certain wankers to ‘leave me alone you yob’. I wonder if more ball players and other athletes will suddenly cop to SAD? They’d say what was REALLY on their minds I bet (this, interestingly isn’t really a fixture of SAD; I think this is just a quirk of Greinke’s. He doesn’t have a problem telling off people. He’s an interesting sound bite, I’ll give him that).

  4. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Feb 22, 2011 at 5:38 PM

    Pre-game preparation? Like deciding not to throw any breaking balls because he didn’t want to risk damaging his trade value? More than the Social Anxiety Disorder, he appears to be suffering from a major case of being a chipwich. Throwing the ball is only part of the job he’s getting paid $millions to do.

    Even Manny was smart enough to not admit to giving up on his former team. Should we all start talking about “Greinke being Greinke?”

  5. baseballstars - Feb 22, 2011 at 7:45 PM

    He’s right, social disorder or not. I stopped watching ESPN heavily when they treated news conferences as “can’t miss television.” Spare me.

  6. clydeserra - Feb 22, 2011 at 10:10 PM

    Being nice to the media may help your image, but his job is to ptich. If he doesn’t want to talk to people, fine.

    I think Craig’s point is Gary Shefield can’t say this, Zach Greinke can.

  7. Jonny 5 - Feb 23, 2011 at 9:21 AM

    He just hates the media and uses “disorder” to get out of dealing with them. I can’t blame him.

  8. macjacmccoy - Feb 23, 2011 at 9:28 AM

    Your telling me the guy who said that has Social Anxiety? yeah right. Most people would be to anixous to say it like it is like Greinke just did. And hes the one whose suppose to have the problem? Maybe its all us normal people that have it wrong and Greinke is the only one whos right. He just said exactly what he felt and thought which I think everyone should do. If thats Social Anxiety sign me up. I hope its contagious.

    • cur68 - Feb 23, 2011 at 10:53 AM

      As I said, his bluntness isn’t a feature of the disorder. It seems to be just him.

      • macjacmccoy - Feb 24, 2011 at 4:11 AM

        Did he say he has this disorder himself or was it someone else saying he has it. Because if it didnt come directly from him who knows. Maybe hes like me and just doesnt like dealing with other people unless its on his terms or he initates it. I know people have been saying he has some type of emotional problem for a while now I just never really took the time to figure it out. I do know Yankees fans said that he wouldnt be able to handle the NY pressure bc of it and thats why they didnt trade for him after Cliff Lee went to Philly. I remember laughing at there preception of how tough a place NY is(If you can make it here… and so on and so forth lol) There cute like that.

  9. sportsdrenched - Feb 23, 2011 at 11:55 AM

    Planet Zack is a quote machine. Just Google “Zack Greinke + great quotes”

    I haven’t found it in print. But when he was pitching in AA he told a local reporter that when he’s told to issue an intentional BB he dots the batter with an off-speed pitch to save himself three pitches.

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