Thoughts On The Craig Kimbrel Interview

Mike Zarrilli

I talk about some of the takeaways from my recent interview with Braves closer Craig Kimbrel.

I wanted to do an additional post to point out a couple of things of interest that I noticed or came to realize during or after my Craig Kimbrel interview (check out the interview: Part 1 and Part 2). Overall, Kimbrel was extremely easy to interview. He gave thoughtful and sufficiently long answers to all of my questions, and even though it's hard to gauge someone's true tone on a phone call, he seemed very positive and upbeat during the entire interview.

The first thing that caught my attention as I got on the call with Kimbrel and the World Baseball Classic PR guy (who had arranged the interview), was that I was told two other people would be on the call as well -- Dan Queen, the MLB Marketing Director and David Meter, Kimbrel's agent. At first I thought, "whoa, I'm being monitored on this interview," but then in thinking about it after the interview I came to the conclusion that this was extremely smart of Kimbrel.

It's very easy for any ballplayer, especially young ballplayers, to say the wrong thing in an interview or get badgered by a reporter into saying something they didn't really mean to say (as another former Braves closer once did when speaking to a Sports Illustrated reporter).

So MLB and the WBC had their representation there, but Kimbrel also had his, in the form of his agent. This is either really good representation on the part of Kimbrel's agent, and/or a huge acknowledgement of still being a novice in this business by Kimbrel himself. As much respect as I already had for Kimbrel, it doubled after the interview.

Ballplayers can't always have representation, but to avail yourself of it when you can is the right way to go. I hope to talk with Craig again in the future, with or without his agent. As I said at the beginning, he was a great player to interview, and it made it a very enjoyable experience for me.

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