This past Monday, I did my first ever blog interview, and it was with Jordan Sprechman. He is an official scorer for Major League Baseball working Yankees and Mets home games. Anyway, here's the interview:
Matt: Your primary job is in banking, so how did you become an official MLB scorer?
Jordan: When I was in high school, I covered all the sports for my school newspaper. I did the same thing when I went to Columbia University for college. At college, I got to know some of the people from the Associated Press who also helped me out. Eventually, after many years' experience at live games, I became an official scorer for the MLB in 2000. I work Mets' and Yankees' home games and learned a lot from my friend, the late Bill Shannon.
Matt: Did you need special training to become an official MLB scorer?
Jordan: Besides all the years spent at live games, I also needed to know all the rules really well and had to pass a test with very unusual live game facts.
Matt: What exactly does an official scorer do?
Jordan: An official scorer for Major League Baseball does three things. One, he completes a very detailed form after each game with all the hitting and pitching stats. That takes about 20 minutes. Two, he announces the pitching lines during the game. And three, he determines if a play is a hit or an error or if a pitch that goes behind the backstop is a passed ball or a wild pitch (lots of these calls rely on the experience you can only get from years of live game observation).
Matt: How does it feel to be a successor to someone as legendary as the official scorer, Bill Shannon (who passed away in October 2010 and was the scorer for 36 years up to that point)?
Jordan: It's a real great honor. Being an official scorer gives someone a lot of power, but it must always be exercised responsibly. If I hate the Red Sox, I can't make every ball they misplay an error. I have to act maturely when I'm an official scorer and cannot play favorites.
Matt: Can you use TV or instant replay to determine a call?
Jordan: Yes, but I try not to. When you're watching TV at home, you can only see what the camera shows, but sitting in the press box allows me to see the entire field. I use instant replay most often for wild pitches and passed balls.
Matt: What's the most exciting games that you've had to score?
Jordan: Well, I was in the press box for Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit, and when Johan Santana pitched his no-hitter against the Cards this season.
Matt: Do you keep score for the playoffs as well as Yankees and Mets regular season games?
Jordan: Yes. I am the official scorer for the Yankees and the Mets in the playoffs at home. I wasn't the official scorer when the Yankees made it to the 2009 World Series, but the next one that either the Yankees or Mets get into, I will be the official scorer.
Matt: Who's your favorite retired players of all time?
Jordan: Thurman Munson and Paul O'Neill because I like how hard they always played the game.
Matt: What was your favorite sport to play as a kid?
Jordan: I liked to play baseball and hockey.
Thanks again to Jordan for doing this interview!! And if any of my readers know other baseball people who might be interested in being interviewed, please let me know.