On the day that the Giants and Dodgers came together at AT&T Park to speak out about fan violence, I spoke on behalf of the Giants, and Jamey Carroll spoke on behalf of the Dodgers.
Jamey and I stood in the front of the mound and the teams gathered behind us. The two managers, Bruce Bochy and Don Mattingly, stood side-by-side.
The front office was a little worried about how the fans would receive Jamey. They didn’t want him to be booed, not while he was addressing the situation. So they asked me to introduce him in such a way that everyone would understand that this event wasn’t about the rivalry.
Well, it was easy for me to introduce Jamey, because he’s a good friend of mine. Our wives are friends. When my son Walker was born the Carrolls had twins at the same time. We go to the zoo together during spring training. I just know him so well that it was easy to introduce him in a respectful way so the crowd wouldn’t be too aggressive. And they didn’t boo him. A few fans did at first, but that quickly stopped.
Last week I told you about speaking to a packed house through a microphone with a delay on it. I didn’t tell you about the thirty television cameras! This was a national event.
And the team’s president said to me, “Hey Jeremy, this is really a big deal. What you say today could change how Major League Baseball views things. It could have an impact on when they cut off beer sales. This is a big deal to the Giants and to Major League Baseball, so what you do is very important.” Well, that’s just added pressure. I’m not sure what he was trying to do! And I was standing in front of 30 television cameras. I was like, “Oh, man!” I don’t usually have a problem with public speaking, but this was a little different, you know? So my heart rate jumped up a bit.
I started to speak, and after my first line, I stopped. I just paused. And then I started again. They asked me later if I got emotional. I didn’t tear up, so not in that way. But I was emotional in the sense that my emotions took over. I realized the seriousness of the issue, and I wanted to do it properly. I wanted to respect all the parties present involved. So I stopped, because after the first line, I locked up. I thought I had it all in my head, and there I was, thinking, where am I going to go from here?
That was more pressure than pitching! I was like, man! So I stopped. And I paused. I gathered my thoughts, and then the rest just came out of me. And it went well. You can see it here.
When I spoke, I tried to be a peacemaker. I tried to interject peace into the situation. I spoke with some passion, but I wasn’t trying to start a war. My message was a heartfelt one. It was a heartfelt message done with passion that brought peace. I asked God to help me with that.
I also think the fans were real peacemakers. I’ll tell you about that next time. See you Friday.