Who's that guy on the Jumbotron? Nats' "in-game host" Clint Khoury wraps up another season.
Going out on a limb here, because the Washington Nationals execs won't tell us, but we suspect that Clint, the guy on the Jumbotron, earns a lot less than Ryan Zimmerman.
Which seems unfair. Talented as the $45 million slugger may be, would you recognize him if you passed him on the street? Maybe, maybe not. But if you've attended even one home game in recent years, you'd probably know Clint (if not his last name). Square jaw, booming voice, Ryan Seacrest-perfect hair: Clint Khoury gets more big-screen time than anyone on the roster, as he flings T-shirts into the stands, interviews fans and . . . well, you tell us exactly what you are.
"The standing line is, it's 'the in-game host,' " Khoury said Thursday, but he seemed okay with our name for it. "We should change it to 'the Jumbotron guy.' "
Khoury wrapped up his fourth season with the Nats after the last home game Wednesday. An Ohio native who moved here five years ago, Khoury, 27, tried out for the gig in early '07 after being tipped off by a pal who knew he wanted to break into broadcasting. They had him play some goofy games, do an impromptu commercial and apparently he had what it takes. "The right blend," he said, "of funny and annoying."
Things you might have wondered: No, being Clint is not a full-time job. Khoury spends his days doing tech design for an architecture firm. No, his throwing arm had nothing to do with getting the job, though many fans (and even Manager Jim Riggleman) have complimented his ability to loft T-shirts to the upper decks. No, the job doesn't help him pick up chicks: Khoury and his girlfriend, whom he met in his early months working for the Nats, just moved in together in Rosslyn.
Of course, some fans just loathe him. Khoury doesn't take it personally. "I think some of the angst about the in-game host character that is Clint stems from the fact that baseball is a very traditional game. . . . There are fans that don't need the games and the giveaways, but there are fans who really enjoy that. . . . Clearly, the game, the athletics are the most important part, and we wouldn't want to do anything that takes away from that. I see this as an accent to the main course."
Speaking of . . . Will they ever let Teddy Roosevelt win? "You've seen that gut," Khoury sighed. "He has to put in the work in the offseason to make that happen."
The Reliable Source
| October 1, 2010; 1:05 AM ET
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