Thursday, July 1, 2010

SB Interview .. Necessary Evil

I went on a job interview the other day. I didn't get the job (what else is new). More importantly, I've always hated job interviews. I've been both a job interviewer and interviewee and honestly it is a very stressful, draining, and difficult experience. They say pressure busts pipes and prospective employers ( "The Man" ) will poke and prod you with uncomfortable questions to see what you know, how you will react, and whether you can cut it or not. It can be a phony, cruel, unfair, and overly judgemental process.
However, as much as interviews fucking suck they are a necessary evil as they help gather information, serve as an introduction, and if done properly, serve as an intelligent conversation between two parties with mutual interests. This got me to thinking, if the cold hearted "Man" can use interviews as a screening device, why don't most softball leagues use interviews? With the exception of the Big Apple League, who interviews prospective new teams, most people in the softball world don't use interviews.
Mostly money of course. Most leagues could care less about competitive balance as long as a new team can balance their check book and pay in full, then it's generally no questions asked. OK greed I get it. But why should softball interviews just be limited to teams? Why not players? pitchers? umpires? managers? fans?????? The blog possibilities are endless so let's look at a couple of Interview scenario's using 3 basic questions, and basic wright or wrong answers as our template
Scenario #1
Softball Interviewer : Commissioner - Should always ask the following 3 basic questions:
(1) Where has your team played before?
(2) How many players do you have?
(3) Who are your pitchers and do you know the proper pitching Rules

Softball Interviewee - A New Team

Right Answers
(1) Always answer this question honestly save your lies for when you really need them like sneaking someone on your roster. It's important to be honest b/c you don't want your team going in a league where it doesn't belong (too weak or strong)
(2) Always say "you have 12-20 guys and it's a tough managers job to find playing time." This will ease the commissioners forfeit fear
(3) Answer what you honestly think pitching rules are and who your starters are b/c you can't hide slingers and will get a bad reputation for bringing one. Interviewee's should also asks for the leagues pitchers ban list at that time.

Wrong Answers
(1) Pickup
(2) 9 or maybe 10 I think - never use the words "I think"
(3) I don't know what you mean by modified.

Scenario #2
Softball Interviewer Manager should ask the following 3 basic questions:
(1) What positions do you like to play?
(2) Can you commit to the team at least 75-80 pct of the time?
(3) Can you pay the ump fee?

Softball Interviewee - A New Player
Right Answers
(1) My best position is x, but I can also play at either y,z, etc if needed.
Let your new skipper know right away what your favorite position is but also let him know where you can help out.
(2) Unless your a known stud wringer - always say Yes
(3) Same as #2
Wrong Answers
(1) "I play anywhere you want" Too much of an ass kissing generic bland answer. Be specific.
(2) "We'll see" - so weak and sounds like you are doing him favor - bad
(3) No. Only Studs and Wringers can say yes.

Scenario #3

3 Basic League Commissioner or head umpire should ask a new umpire
(1) Experience Question : Where have you umpired before?
(2) Availability Question: Are you available to work on x days?
(3) Umpiring Mechanics Question : What are the proper mechanics in working a two man set? For example, explain the In/Out field mechanics approach to me?
Softball Interviewee New Umpire
Right Answers
(1) Depends on how bad you need the job. Always start off my explaining how you were referred to the league (name a respected source) and then cite a competitive league that you have umped or played in (don't tell him play) that gives you credibility.
(2) Yes - otherwise your done
(3) As a field umpire when the ball is hit in the infield I stand behind "outside" the infielders to get the best possible view. When the ball is hit into the OF I button hook into the IF and follow the runner looking to see whether he he touches the bases and get myself in a good position to make a safe or out call if necessary. Professional!!!!!
Wrong Answers
(1) Only Yorkoff, I uh mean Yorkville - fire before your hired
(2) No or Sometimes - your done
(3) Never heard of "in/out theory", but I always stand inside the IF next to the pitcher with runners on base that's what Mr Johnson taught me. So wrong and out of position. Also, never mention Mr. Johnson-he's the worst
There are many more important interview questions, answers, combination, and possibilities out there but I guess the bottom line is never be afraid/embarrassed to ask a softball question and be careful how you answers b/c the fun, playing time, or income that could be affected the most will be yours.


  1. my name is Artie Johnson , and I am Mr. Johnson's son and I'm gonna come and kick your ass for badmouthing my Pops !

  2. Rick, thats the guy you named, Mr. MAGOO.