Brendan Ryan does his Harry Caray
In every Major League clubhouse, televisions play in the background with a variety of baseball highight shows, SportsCenters, live games or tape of the opposing starter for that evening’s game. Some players might be watching, most are going about other business.
But Monday afternoon in the visiting clubhouse at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, all the Mariners players were gathered around a large big screen as teammate Brendan Ryan prepared to go on the MLB Network’s Intentional Talk with Chris Rose and one-time Mariners outfielder Eric Byrnes.
Ryan was doing the interview just outside the clubhouse on the field. If the circumstances were reversed and another Mariner was being shown on live TV, Ryan likely would have hustled out to the field and run behind the camera a time or two just for fun. He tried that in Fenway earlier this year when ESPN was doing a shot from the field at Boston, only to discover the spot was taped earlier.
But hey, that’s Ryan. The rest of his team, they mostly enjoy his antics. So they gathered and watched as Ryan was led through an eight-minute interview that seemed a little forced at times, with questions about Eric Wedge’s mustache and his own facial hair, his childhood nickname (“Boog”), his evaluation of teammate Munenori Kawasaki’s dance moves and a long reach for his memories of playing in Alaska when he was in college.
Ryan did his best to make it entertaining as he’s the rare pro athlete who actually tries to be interesting and he truly is one of the most genuine — and genuinely funny — guys you’ll ever meet. But only at the end was the 30-year-old shortstop allowed to really let it loose, as Rose asked him to do a couple of his favorite impersonations.
And by the time Ryan finished — with a little R-rated Harry Caray bit — his teammates were rolling on the floor. You can see the whole interview by clicking on the video above. Just make sure to get to the end for the full Ryan. Trust me, it’s worth it.