Remember in 2005 when I started calling Javier Valentín the Latin Love Machine and adopted him as the darling of Red Hot Mama? Wasn’t that fun?
This year, I’m going a different direction. Just as Javy was a surprising choice for binky, I’m making a surprising choice for team whipping boy 2006: Bronson Arroyo.
It’s surprising, but not without reason. It started out in Sarasota this year, the day Mr. Arroyo was traded. We had pulled up in front of Re/Max to log on, check the comments, and download our e-mail. And what to my wondering eyes should appear but an e-mail message from one of Bronson Arroyo’s “people,” offering me an interview with the would-be Cincinnati star.
A couple e-mails and a very long telephone call with the contact later (the call alone, btw, cost $75. Gotta keep an eye on that roaming), the interview was set. I readied my iRiver and waited nervously for information on where to meet our number two pitcher at Ed Smith stadium.
The phone call never came.
One after another, promised interview nights came and went. It was always something: this night would be too stressful because he was facing Boston, that night he’d had a bad outing and didn’t want to talk to anyone. Soon, it was a “maybe once the season starts.”
The season started and Arroyo was doing well. Surely he’d be interested in an interview now. But it was always something. He was going to be travelling or we really ought to wait until after a start.
Finally, it was really going to happen. On Monday, May 1, as I sat smack-talking with Bellyscratcher, my Arroyo contact promised an interview that very night. In fact, said contact wanted to know if could I be ready to get on the phone as soon as he was pulled from the game.
Of course, it was always something. This time he went the complete game. Despite my late night, I was ecstatic for him. I wrapped up smack talk and set up the computer in my kid’s bedroom, the only place I can get high enough quality off the telephone for use in a podcast. I had made the kiddo go to sleep on the couch in anticipation of the event.
I sat there, hurriedly preparing for the interview, anxiously anticipating the phone ringing. I breathed a sigh of relief when I completed my questions. Still, the phone did not ring. The Crack Technical Staff fell asleep on our child’s bed.
I checked in with the contact. This time it was that he needed at least an hour after the end of the game for interviews and unwinding. I’m an interview, I thought, but apparently I didn’t rank. I relaxed and waited for the phone to ring.
I wrote my game wrap to fill some time. It was after midnight, and I stared at the clock, thinking about the alarm clock ringing at 5:30 a.m. Still nothing.
I cleaned up my son’s room and watched 1 a.m. come and go. Still I waited. Still nothing.
1:30 a.m. I got an e-mail that says he’s not calling. In my exhaustion, I politely said I understood, but it was nagging at me. Utterly exhausted I lay in bed, unable to sleep. It wasn’t right for Bronson Arroyo to have treated me that way. If he was too busy celebrating to talk to me, that’s fine, but he shouldn’t have kept me waiting all night.
And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it wasn’t right for him to have kept me waiting all spring either. I drifted off, images of giving Arroyo a tongue lashing–and not the good kind–playing in my mind.
When the alarm went off four hours later, I sent off this e-mail to his contact:
I know that YOU are sorry, but I hope your boy knows I think he’s a jerk for standing me up. If he couldn’t make it, at least he could have said so so I wouldn’t sit around waiting for him. I know he’s a big superstar and everything, but I don’t think a little consideration for other people is too much to ask.
I would be happy to do the interview and give him a chance to explain himself, both for the stuff he’d said about Cincinnati when he was traded as well as for the way he’d acted toward me. I put off posting his Human League entry to give him that opportunity. I think the e-mail was OK, but posting my frustration over the whole issue might have hurt my case a little.
It probably doesn’t surprise you to learn that I got a terse e-mail from the contact a few days later saying that Arroyo didn’t want to do the interview. I responded that I wasn’t surprised, but that the offer remained open. I sorta doubt he’ll ever take me up on it, even to explain himself, because there’s nothing to explain; I’m telling the whole story. I wouldn’t be surprised, however, if he came through with an interview for another blog. I recommend Church of Baseball. Daedalus loves him.
Honestly, people, what is wrong with me? An interview with Bronson Arroyo would have been an enormous boon for Red Hot Mama, the sort of thing that might have gotten national attention. All I would have had to have done was continue forcing my 4-year old to sleep on the couch until it suited Arroyo’s mood to invest 10 minutes on the phone with me.
I always thought I’d be the first one to sell out. The first hint of an opportunity to do so, and I totally drop the ball.
Of course, it occurs to me that perhaps this “contact” that I worked through doesn’t even know Bronson Arroyo. I don’t have any reason to think so, but you just never know. Maybe I let myself get all irritated about Arroyo through no fault of his own. But when he’s so touchy about his relationship with his catcher and the way he’s never come out and said that he wouldn’t still rather be in the Boston bullpen, it seems to fit his pattern.
You know: it’s always something.