The Question That Went Viral

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

I continue to be mind boggled at how the World Wide Web can get information around and to how many people.

On Friday May 21, 2021, I had the time to go on a Miami Marlins Media Pre-Game Availability Zoom Call. 

I’ve been doing this for nearly a year since I started covering the team last summer.

As always, I wait my turn and in many cases, my question is generally near the end. 

I’m totally fine with that. I usually have a few backup questions because I never know who was going to ask the one I have in mind. 

When I know that I’m going to be able to go on a call, I usually take my normal Meditation Drive up A1A and just chill admiring the drive up the ocean. 

This is one of the best things that I love about living in Florida.

But this day would be no normal Zoom Call.

On Tuesday, May 18, Detroit Tigers pitcher Spencer Turnbull threw a no-hitter vs the Seattle Mariners on the road. This was the eighth no-hitter in Tigers history as Detroit blanked the Mariners 5-0.

On Wednesday, May 19th, Corey Kluber threw the 12th no-hitter in New York Yankees history and the first since 1999. 

The Bronx Bombers shutout the Texas Rangers 2-0 and as a result, this young 2021 season found itself with seven no-hitters.

How surreal. 

A feat which is celebrated had happened seven times within the first six weeks of the season. 

This was the first time since 1969, when Cincinnati’s Jim Maloney threw one on April 30 and Houston’s Don Wilson on May 1st that this happened on consecutive days.

Because of scheduling conflicts, I wasn’t able to go on the Zoom Call on May 20, 2021, and I actually considered doing it after Turnbull’s no-hitter, but didn’t.

But as I mentioned, on May 21, 2021, I did go on and the beat writers did there normal thing by asking Manager Don Mattingly the daily game oriented questions consisting of the starting lineups and roster changes.

One of the things I enjoy doing is asking Mattingly just simple baseball questions that don’t pertain to the game. I leave that to the regular beat writers and electronic media who cover the team on a daily basis.

I Just ask baseball questions that can range from how he gives advice to hitters, his pitchers, the Marlins travel schedule, etc… and there are times that Mattingly spends a lot of time answering them. I call them the “Thinking Man’s Questions.”

On this call, what seemed like a Simple Baseball Topic, turned out to be “The Question That Went Viral.”

I asked Don to comment on the the seven no-hitters in a short period of time. 

What I’ve learned about Mattingly is he always gives you an honest answer and doesn’t hold anything back. He’s one of the nicest and polite individuals I’ve ever worked with. 

He was also a heckuva player that has a lifetime average of .307. He was an excellent hitter and an outstanding defensive player that won nine gold gloves as a first baseman. 

I do believe he belongs in the Baseball Hall of Fame. 

He was the captain of the New York Yankees from 1991-95 prior to Derek Jeter. He’s regarded as one of the best Yankees of All-Time and is honored in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium.

He began is managerial career with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2011 and is now the Marlins skipper. He’s been a manager for 10 years.

The guy knows what he’s talking about.

But once again, pertaining to the no-hitters, Mattingly said, that “baseball has become unwatchable at times. Where does this get better? Because it’s great for your team when a guy throws a no-no. It’s great for that guy. It’s a great accomplishment. But when there are so many, so early…it tells you that there are some issues within the game that need to be addressed.

“The issues are going to take a while…We’re at a point where it’s getting so much attention because it’s just a game that sometimes is unwatchable. Guys you don’t talk to don’t even like watching the games because there is nothing going on in them.”

When I heard this quote the next day, I told my wife Candy that I asked Mattingly this question.

On the next Homestand, for the first time, I met one my colleagues Craig Mish of SportsGrid on Wednesday, May 25, 2021, when the Marlins faced the New York Mets. I introduced myself to him and when I mentioned the Mattingly no-hitter comment, he told me that if you listen to the video, it was your voice that asked that question. 

He texted me the comment that he was able to get from the Marlins Communications Department and said you should listen to it. He told me that what I said went viral and at the time, there were 392,000 views on Twitter around the world. At that time, I was truly amazed. It was just a simple baseball question and I didn’t think much about it. 

When I went on google, I couldn’t believe that my question was on every platform imaginable and so many people heard my voice.

I’m thrilled that Craig was smart enough to get the clip from the Marlins and was able to use it to his benefit. 

We talked a lot that night and he was giving me pointers about Social Media and how powerful it can be. 

It was great to meet yet another colleague from Zoom in person and I value Craig as a very good friend that I look forward to spending time with him down the line.

I do have the clip on my phone and I have to admit that I’m proud of it!

I’ve always had a great relationship with the Marlins Communications Department and enjoy coming to the games and covering this team. 

I’ve had a lot of great memories through the years covering them at Joe Robbie Stadium and now loanDepotpark (Marlins Park).

Since I started doing these Zoom Calls, Jason Latimer, Vice President, Communications & Broadcasting has always been great to me when I want to get my questions in. 

In fact, Mish asked Latimer who asked the no-hitters question and Latimer said it was me. 

I met Jason on LinkedIn and we hit it off great. 

That’s what got the ball rolling with me covering the Marlins. 

Jason told me that I can cover as many games as I want.

His Assistant Director of Communications Jon Erik Alvarez and Coordinator of Media Relations are also incredible to work with. 

But when I look back at this experience, it can be described in many ways.

It was educational, humbling, mind boggling because I am just amazed at how technology seizes to amaze me in many ways.

Yet, when I go on these calls, I’m not going to change my approach. 

I’m going to ask that hard baseball question and will make Mattingly think. 

He’s a baseball lifer and I know he’ll put a lot of thought into it so as a result, all of us in the media will benefit as well as the fans.

The one thing I won’t do is go on a post-game Media Availability Call and question him on what decisions he’s made in the game. 

If I ever second guess any manager, it won’t be until the Pregame Media Availability Call when the manager has had time to think about the previous night and watch video.

I’m not in the business of second guessing! 

I’m a Sports Media Journalist/Broadcaster, not a Manager or Coach!

At this point, I couldn’t think of two better people in my life than Mattingly and Latimer. 

They’re both class acts.

If I did anything to Latimer, I caught his attention on “The Question That Went Viral” and it’s safe to say as he’s seen for about a year that I know what I’m talking about.

But I do look forward to the day that I can interview the newsmakers in person because that’s what this business is really all about.

I’m totally fine with that because at 58, I’m too old to think that I’ll ever get the mega job with a major media outlet. Working for myself suits me just fine.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at southfloridatribune@gmail.com and you can find him on Twitter @TribuneSouth.

You can find his broadcasts on The South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel and subscribe for free.

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