Monday, March 13, 2006

The High Art of the Non-Answer

This article at OnlyBucs has been widely praised for the author's rare success in eliciting straight answers from Mr. Littlefield.

Greg Brown, on the other hand, was on the radio again yesterday playing the Washington Generals to Littlefield's Harlem Globetrotters.

What did Littlefield think of Vogelsong's last outing (which was awful).

Well, Greg, we saw some good things. We saw some downward movement of the fastball in the zone. Ryan also got behind some hitters, and major league hitters aren't going to let you get away with that, but whether it's as a starter or in relief, the kind of movement we saw on the fastball will pay dividends for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

I used to do PR. This is known as the "sandwich technique." You put the bad news in the middle of the sandwich between good news bread, to try to hide it and make it more palatable. Particularly if what you are serving is a shit sandwich.

Then there was a question about Schilling beaning Duffy. Dave wanted no part of that one, so he used another classic PR technique--instead of answering the interviewer's question, you answer your own question, on the assumption that the audience won't remember what question the interviewer asked by the time you get finished spinning. Brownie was looking for something like "Yeah, Schilling hit our guy, and his post-game comment was appalling." Instead, he got a lengthy treatise from Littlefield about the "process"--Dave's favorite word--that the Pirates medical staff goes through for concussions.

It would be nice if we had a baseball general manager in Pittsburgh instead of Ron Ziegler.

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