Today’s Guest: Dewayne Staats, Tampa Bay Rays play-by-play announcer, co-author, Position To Win: A Look at Baseball and Life From the Best Seat in the House
Watch this exclusive Mr. Media interview with Dewayne Staats by clicking on the video player above!
Mr. Media is recorded live before a studio audience of second-rate ballplayers who, whenever they get to third base, have visions of Meat Loaf in their heads, keep swearing on their mothers’ graves and screaming, “I’ll love you to the end of time!”… in the NEW new media capital of the world… St. Petersburg, Florida!
There are some genuinely, truly nice people in the world. You might not know this if your only friends are Facebook friends, but it’s true.
I suspect Dewayne Staats is one of the good guys.
For one thing, I’ve read his just published memoir of life in a baseball broadcast booth and Staats hasn’t an unkind word to share about anyone.
DEWAYNE STAATS podcast excerpt: “Harry Caray was perfect on the personality side. I learned from him that it’s important to be a human being and to have fun with this and be personable. Harry once told me that, when he was a kid in St. Louis, he would listen to the games in the early years of radio and then he would sneak his way into the ballpark. He said it was always so much more fun at the ballpark than when he listened at home. He tried to convey the actual experience of being at the ballpark in his personality and, at the same time, it didn’t hurt because it served his own purposes. Harry knew what he was doing; he was promoting Harry Caray.”
That may just be good manners, of course, but his co-author on Position to Win: A Look at Baseball and Life from the Best Seat in the House, is Dave Scheiber, another one of the nicest guys in America.
Staats has been the play-by-play man for the Tampa Bay Rays since their inception 18 years ago, which has included everything from Wade Boggs pitching to the Hit Show to a trip to the World Series and several playoffs in between.
DEWAYNE STAATS podcast excerpt: “The Tampa Bay Rays were not a good team when Joe Maddon came here to manage, but he finally got a chance to manage and, I think, in hindsight, Joe was a better manager than some people thought he was — and they thought he was pretty good. He did a great job of integrating all the information and the analytics that are so popular today with some of the traditional approaches to the game. And I think we’ll see Kevin Cash do the same.”
Before coming to St. Petersburg though, Staats worked side-by-side with some of baseball’s greatest voices, including Harry Caray with the Chicago Cubs, Tony Kubek with the New York Yankees, and his boyhood hero and eventual partner, Gene Elston with the Houston Astros.
As a Rays fan since forever – and someone who wrote a book about the long-gestating creation of the Tampa Bay baseball franchise – I couldn’t resist an urge to talk to the voice of the team.
Key interview moments:
• 8:15 Despite his overwhelming interest in sports while in high school, Dewayne Staats’ teacher encouraged him to explore philosophy and literature because “the unexamined life is not worth living;
• 20:55 Harry Caray knew what he was doing — he was promoting Harry Caray;
• 41:45 Joe Madden was probably an even better manager of the Tampa Bay Rays than even is fans knew at the time.