If you once were very good at something the media might ask you about your former profession.
The best way to look like a jerk is to diss the current practitioners of your former art and explain how things were better when you were center stage.
Jim Bunning, the famously cranky Senator from Kentucky, was once a very good pitcher. Good enough to earn election to the Baseball Hall of Fame. He last pitched professionally 39 years ago, however — about the time some of the current players’ parents were born. Reporters yesterday asked Bunning for his reaction to the last-minute decision to scratch Washington Nationals rookie Steven Strasburg from the line up on Tuesday.
Bunning called the decision a “joke” and cast himself in a more heroic light. “Five hundred twenty starts, I never refused the ball,” the Senator bragged.
Then he grabbed his shoulder and mocked “Oh, my arm!”
Bunning apparently missed the reports that the National’s General Manager, Mike Rizzo, ordered Strasburg to skip his start (the phenom has now been placed on the 15-day disabled list).
The Nationals probably have more money invested in Strasburg than Bunning and all his teammates combined earned during his 17-year career.
Whether you are a former ballplayer, general, or captain of industry — if the media ask you for your views on current events — you should take care to speak knowledgeably and to avoid appearing like a grouchy old man. There is a saying in baseball that describes people like Bunning. “He has a million dollar arm — and a ten cent head.”