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Burning bridges before you cross them

How to win friends and influence people.
By Steve Kline

Step 1: Give up a couple of crucial three-run homers in your first week with your new team.
Step 2: Whine about how much you dislike your new team in your first week with your new team.

To be specific, first you should start with general grievances:

"I'm miserable," Steve Kline said. [...] "It's not what I thought it would be," Kline said, declining to address the negative specifics emanating from his brief time in Baltimore.
Then move on to pointing out how much better it was before:
But he said that among other things, he missed the "leadership" involved in playing for Tony La Russa and the Cardinals - "the way guys went about their business. I miss a lot about the guys in St. Louis. ... St. Louis always got me geared up to play there."
Don't forget to criticize your new teammates:
But both home runs came after defensive plays that could have been made. "Really stupid plays," Kline said, taking care not to assign blame.
(Editor's note: what exactly would assigning blame sound like?)
"I'm so used to (Edgar) Renteria and Jimmy (Edmonds) running down my mistakes and picking me up," he said, recalling his Gold Glove teammates with the Cardinals.
Oh, yes, last but not least: bash the fans.
"There's nothing worse than getting booed at home," Kline said. "St. Louis fans are too good for that. They understand the game more than most people."

What exactly does that leave out? Spitting on an American flag during the anthem before the game? Punching Cal Ripken in the nose?

Kline's a good pitcher who had a bad week, his first week with a new team, and he's frustrated. (Although the column implies that his unhappiness isn't just because of his performance.) But doesn't he have a wife, an agent, a former teammate... somebody to whom he could vent -- anybody other than a reporter? Because somehow I don't think this is quite the right way for a player to convince fans to stop booing him. Or to get one's manager or teammates on one's side.

Sheesh. You'd think a 32-year old, 9-year major league veteran, would have a little more common sense.


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Comments (2)

Tom Coale:

Thanks for running this site; it's in with my Oriole Bookmarks. I can't believe that jackass Kline. I was willing to stick it out with him and hope for the best but after reading the article you posted I'll be more than happy to boo with the rest of them. Gibby may have made a mistake but he didn't drop the yard ball in the very next at bat. Kline is overrated and lucky to have had the starters come out strong. He sure didn't sound so frustrated at Spring Training...you know, when the checks started coming in.


He's apologized, and if he works hard and shuts up, I can forget. Last night was a good start.

Can't expect every Oriole to bleed Orange and Black I suppose.


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