No Love for Clint

Scott Watson

On Friday night, in the rainy cold of Nats Park, I confirmed that I am not alone in my disregard for Clint, the "lovable" roving mouth of the Nats.

I have found the man annoying since the first time I heard him yelling into the microphone at RFK. I don't care how many T-Shirts he and his crew launch my way; I'll never like his presence at a game.

To ensure that I wasn't just suffering from that slow descent into geezer-hood, suffered by many aging baseball fans, I decided to conduct an experiment. My 20-year-old collegiate daughter had deigned to attend a game with me. She's not a big baseball fan, but maybe the young student home for the summer is the market the Nats have in mind when they roll out Clint and his inane babble.

When he came out on the scene, I carefully noted the response of my daughter. She was understated, but I applied all my deductive reasoning skills and thought I could pick up a reaction: "He's SO an-NOY-ing!!!"

Hmm. That wasn't definitive enough for me. So I followed up and learned that Clint talks too fast, can't be understood and sounds "mindless." In a momentary lapse in my scientific method, I may have tainted the results:

"When he asks a question, does he even hear the response?" I asked.

"No," my daughter confirmed, he just says "great, great" and goes on to the next inconsequential thought.

I've never met Clint, and I don't want to judge his character, his intellect or his dedication. Lord knows I would never question his energy. But I am critical of his performance, and I urge him to slow down, actually listen to and engage with the fans he's interviewing and try to be a person rather than a cartoon character.

But I'm not holding out hope.

P.S.: For what it's worth, a nearly-empty Nats Park, on a cold, rainy night, was still nice enough -- and enough fun -- to make my daughter say that she planned to go back this summer, when it's warmer.

By Scott Watson  |  May 13, 2008; 8:36 AM ET  | Category:  Scott Watson
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Comments

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In the past, I have said that Clint needs to be repeatedly punched in the kidneys. However, you are correct that the Nats games do not provide a window into Clint's soul. What I will say is that the stuff the Nats have him doing makes me want to repeatedly punch him in the kidneys.

Posted by: Lindemann | May 13, 2008 10:14 AM

I've said this many times before:

He is so incredibly painful to watch. He talks too fast, asks stupid yes/no questions, and he gives the vibe that this is all about him.

He does not have the instincts necessary to draw people out in funny, interesting and entertaining ways because it's all about him.

Even people on camera he interviews always look bored with him. It takes more than fast talking, over-exaggerated enthusiasm and nice hair to get what he's trying (and failing) to do.

He was probably a journalism major and he thinks he hit it big.

Posted by: CGR | May 13, 2008 10:31 AM

Hey, our guy is just as bad, but you can understand him. It's like all these guys think is that the fans came to see them. We go to Philly in the winter to visit friends and the "Clint-A-Like" the Phantoms have is the same. Makes it about himself and doesn't listen to the answers of the fans.

Remember boys, it's about the fans, not you on the mic.

Posted by: Baysox Fan | May 13, 2008 11:51 AM

I feel the same about Clint that I do about Sweet Caroline. Pure, unadulterated rage.

Posted by: NatsNut | May 13, 2008 1:42 PM

I saw Clint at the Clarendon Whole Foods today, again. He was sobbing, yet again, ever so gently into his fresh organic produce at an (un)reasonable price.

He is decadent and depraved.

He looked at me, again, with puppy dog eyes and asked, chokingly, "Why, Big Pomp-Daddy? Why do they hate me so? I only want to be known as DC's greatest imitation Ryan Seacrest extract. Is that so wrong?"

"Yes," I replied haltingly to him once more. "Yes, it is. Alas, though, this is a free country and it is not becoming of our great national character for me to push my morals on you."

He sobbed and smiled at me gently, just like the last time.

He is scum.

Posted by: Pompous Magnus | May 13, 2008 1:52 PM

At the exhibition game against the Orioles, the first night most of us got to see Nationals Park, when Clint popped up on the big screen for the first time a twenty-something woman behind me in the section said, loud enough for everyone to hear, What? That douchebag is back AGAIN?

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Posted by: Section 419+1 | May 13, 2008 4:04 PM

I wasn't at the exhibition game, but I said the exact same thing the following night when, to my dismay, he appeared on the big screen. His head now appears as big as it actually is in his mind.

Posted by: annoyed too | May 13, 2008 4:28 PM

I have an interesting approach to dealing with Clint that I heartily recommend to whomever is bold enough to join in on the fun. Whenever Clint is close enough to me to be within shouting distance, I shout: "Clint! I love you, man!" (I am a guy.) He really doesn't enjoy it. However, I find it to be a lot of fun. So do the people sitting near me.

Posted by: annoyed natsfan | May 13, 2008 6:17 PM

Our surveys show that and overwhelming majority of Nationals fans enjoy Clint and a wide majority actually want to be him. Of the 5 people we surveyed, all said they enjoy Clint (well, we asked Clint 5 times) and 4 of 5 said they want to be him.

It is with these marketing numbers that we've decided to add more Clint before and during the games. Next season, we will change our names to the Washington Clints and have his face on all of our merchandise. Our marketing surveys show fans want more Clint so we will also mow his face into the outfield grass four times and Metro trains that come through Navy Yard will bear his resemblance on every window.

We are actually looking at getting the area around Nationals Ballpark renamed Clint, USA so that we can also change the name of the park to Clint Ballpark.

That is all.

Posted by: Nats Marketing | May 14, 2008 9:54 AM

Personally, I prefer going to watch the Washington Glory play, why?

1. No Clint
2. Parking
3. Easy access to meet the players
4. Short games (most are less than 2 hours long)
5. Great athletes, the ladies go above and beyond even coming into the stands during the games to participate in contests and give out prizes. I think I'd rather see Lastings Milledge host this before seeing Clint's face again.
6. Cheap concessions, though the lines can get just as long sometimes, it still not going to break you.
7. They won a championship last year.
8. The players are down to earth.

They're playing at Westfield High School this year, but the players don't care where they play, they love playing for the love of playing.

Posted by: Rte. 123 | May 14, 2008 3:02 PM

I went to the Negro League tribute game last month, where instead of Clint annoyingness in between ups we got thoughtful tributes to Negro League history. It was wonderful. Can't they find someone a little more sophisticated for this (fairly) sophisticated city?

Posted by: ElDee | May 16, 2008 12:48 PM

I'm no fan of Clint, but how about the usher who dances to that godawful "Sweet Caroline"? How come he gets off scot-free? (And please, please, PLEASE get rid of that song -- it's too identified with Boston. Is there some secret Red Sox fan in the Nationals' ownership group that forces the song to be played? It's also unoriginal...just like the entire Nats' marketing scheme.)

Posted by: Vincent | May 19, 2008 10:52 AM

Clint does his job and what he is suppossed to do. I have worked in the production department for another baseball team and know for a fact that he isnt allowed to let fans talk into the microphone except for yes or no questions and other brief responses. This is because people like many of you who have insignificant, immature and ignorant comments to make will choose to make these comments into the microphone during their small moment of fame. I guarantee you that Clint has talking points and a script that he needs to stick to as well as a time limit that does not allow for him to fully interview fans. If you have ever met Clint, which I have, he is very genuine and interested in what fans have to say and is often pulled away from talking to fans because there isnt enough time. If you have a problem with the promotions or the time spent talking to fans, you should take it up with the production department and not him.

Posted by: Jeff | May 19, 2008 9:04 PM

Fine, Jeff...

To the Nats Production Dept.: Stop perverting the game.

Posted by: Pompous Magnus | May 20, 2008 11:45 AM

Clint must go!!! I agree with Jeff's post that he is limited by regulations and time constraints. For that reason, his hyper high energy personna is ill suited to the task at hand. But the thing that irks me is the Nationals let him commit the cardinal crime of any professional sports franchise - letting him get on the microphone to cheer lead. That is pure bush league. Both Clint and Stan Kasten should know better than that.

Posted by: DMan | May 20, 2008 12:08 PM

Clint's looks alone make him impossible to like. From the first time I saw him, before he even uttered a word, all I could think was "pretty boy Ryan Seacrest-wannabe douchebag", like the kind you see sipping Michelob Ultras on the Georgetown Waterfront while wearing a pink Polo shirt with the collar flipped up. And speaking of dress, have you ever noticed that he's never wearing Nats gear while working!??! What the hell is that? He looks like he's killing a few hours before partying it up with the rest of the Nat Pack... on the Georgetown Waterfront.

He may be a nice guy, but his looks alone make him an awful fit for this job. They need one of two types of people:

- A cool, hot girl (sportiness is required... she can't be a baseball-ignorant airhead). I'm thinking a converted ballgirl, or something along those lines.

- A fat, slovenly, funny guy (think Belushi). Everyone loves a funny fat guy!

Please Nats management, make a change... it would make it much easier to tolerate the awful product you put on the field on a nightly basis.

Posted by: DisgruntledFan | May 29, 2008 3:24 PM

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