ESPN's Mendoza defends mid-game interview with Laureano originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Nothing gets A's fans angrier than a ... mid-game interview?
ESPN interviewed A's center fielder Ramon Laureano during the top of the third inning in Thursday's win-for-go-home Game 3 of the AL Wild Card Series. Twitter blew up with plenty of people feeling like interviewing a player in the middle of an elimination game was a distraction. ESPN's Dave Flemming understood the backlash, while Jessica Mendoza defended the interview in the bottom of the third inning.
Here's what the two had to say regarding the mid-game interview.
Flemming: "Well, we should thank Ramon Laureano once again for being with us from the field in the middle of a playoff game. I know it makes some people uncomfortable. I think it’s worth saying out loud that we ask the players nicely. The Players’ Union, Major League Baseball, has encouraged players to, even in playoff games, to be willing and volunteer. Ramon wanted to do it.
"He told us we should do it more often when we were on the air. I know it makes some people cringe, especially when he’s in the middle of all of the action and we’re talking to him but it is an insight that is hard to get in any other way in any other sports broadcast."
Mendoza: "Especially when the players want to do it. I mean I was watching the Dodger game last night. Justin Turner, he actually asked to stay on. He was out there on base talking to the guys. He literally walked up himself to his at-bat, just talking through you know Dave Roberts’ conversation from the dugout. And the guys know, the ones it affects.
"Marcus Semien even said, I could never wear a mic. ‘Are you kidding me? I get too distracted.’ Mark Canha was the opposite. ‘I loved it’ when he wore a mic yesterday. I’ve done it myself. I’ve done an ESPN game when I played for the US team, and I was out in left field. My teammates looked at me sideways because I was talking to myself [laughing], but I absolutely enjoyed it."
Canha, who was interviewed in the outfield during the A's Game 2 win, said after the victory that it wasn't a distraction. Laureano in real time did say he wanted to do more interviews during games, too.
As a washed former college outfielder, bring on the live interviews and mid-game cursing.