OTC: 610′s Danny Parkins Vies For Nick Wright’s Old Job & Tells Entertaining Randy Covitz Locker Room Tale

“Randy Covitz walks right up to [Mike Moustakas while he’s getting dressed after showering] and the guy from Royals’ media relations goes, ‘Hey Randy, why don’t you let him get dressed? Give him a minute.’ So he backs away and goes, ‘Sorry.’ … You don’t interview a guy in a towel. You allow them to get dressed.”
Danny Parkins, retelling a story from the Royals’ postgame locker room Monday night after their 10-7 loss to the Twins, 610 AM
GH: Parkins is vying to take over Nick Wright’s slot for 610 Sports as their afternoon drive guy. I don’t have anything I hate about Parkins as a sports talk host but he has yet to endear me as a listener in the 14 months he has been on Kansas City’s airwaves. But his story about how the veteran Covitz botched his interview with the second-year third baseman, Moustakas, is the kind of entertaining insight that could change that for me and other KC listeners. Read on. 

“Moustakas takes three or four minutes to get dressed. He walks in the direction of the trash can to throw away some trash. Covitz again comes in and says, ‘Hey Moose, you talking today?’ And Moose goes, ‘Wait for me to get ready, man!’ Kind of impatient. The team had just lost a game and it was a very tense clubhouse. And now he’s been approached two times before he’s ready to talk. It may have upset him a little bit.”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM
GH: I believe Covitz has been at The Star for as long as I have been reading the newspaper – and that’s at least 25 years. His greatest strength in The Star’s eyes is his flexibility. He can cover the Royals’ beat, write a feature on KU’s Allen Fieldhouse, cover the Chiefs’ press conference and then pitch in with an NBA draft column. That range is rare [or at least was in the more lucrative days of newspapers]. But Covitz is clumsy. He is a dinosaur in a tech-filled jungle. Covitz still works with a cassette tape recorder, refusing to go digital. While his experience is formidable, his age and lack of flexibility when it comes to his profession might be a detriment. Read on.

“Moose goes back to his locker and stares right at Covitz and says, ‘I’m not talking today, guys.’ Covitz throws his arms up in the air and turns to the rest of the media and says, ‘He’s a professional. He should be able to talk after a loss. Sorry if I messed that up for you.’ Covitz walks away kind of in a huff.”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM
GH: At this point in Parkins’ story, Covitz leaves the locker room. He writes his Royals’ game story without a quote from Moose who was the Royals’ star of the game with a homer and two doubles. This is not a new scenario. The old guy reporter gets impatient with the young whippersnapper athlete and tries to bull his way past the typical locker room protocol that the younger members of the media adhere to. But as newspapers lose their ability to retain talent, they are often left to rely on those similar fossils who clog the Hen House checkout lines on Wednesday afternoons. 

“Moustakas doesn’t move. He turns to me, Bukaty and Petro and he goes, ‘So you guys need anything? What’s up?’ And then we all interview him! So he’s on the FoxSports postgame show. I’m talking about him on the 610 postgame show. Petro has the audio that he can use on the [810] midday show. If you read the MLB.com story about the game, there’s a Moustakas quote or two in there. But there’s no quote in the Kansas City Star because Covitz approached him and was just completely out of line. Reporting 101 – he messed it up and he didn’t get his quote!”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM
GH: Covitz will be replacing Kent Babb on the Chiefs’ beat. I do not see this as a positive for the readers of The Kansas City Star. While I think Babb has a chance to be a very good columnist, I can see Covitz’s clumsy demeanor with athletes, coaches and GMs getting in the way of his ability to report a story.

“The point is that you have a guy who is a potential budding superstar, a 23-year-old player, who has enough moxie and self-confidence to basically punk a veteran reporter more than 20 years his senior in front of a bunch of his colleagues.”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM
GH: Parkins is 25 years old. I remember being 25 and thinking anyone over the age of 40 was mostly dead. Read on. 

“You could kick [Covitz’s] ass! Clearly we’re not going to have him on the show anytime soon. You’ve burned that bridge.”
Jared Carter, the show’s producer, to Parkins, while discussing a fictitious bout between Covitz and Parkins, 610 AM

“I’m not saying I could beat up every 45-year-old. I’m just saying if Covitz is 45, I could beat him up.”
Danny Parkins, who is 25 years old, 610 AM
GH: If Covitz is 45, he is the oldest 45-year-old who was never a member of the Rolling Stones. Randy has got to be in his 60s – and I’d still take him in a first-round KO over Parkins. There are a lot of youngsters at The Star I’d rather fight than old-man Covitz.

“Moose gave great answers. He answered questions for six minutes. And then when it ended he said, ‘Thanks for waiting around, guys.’ … I’ve been in that clubhouse plenty of times. They love Mike Moustakas. Moustakas is a team leader. What I saw him do [Monday] night to a veteran reporter, to me shows that he is very self-aware, self-confident. He’s willing to say, ‘F-you man! I’m Mike Moustakas. I’ve got this. Don’t disrespect me.’ Is it a little bit of a punk arrogant move? Maybe, but us media people were talking about it afterwards – people who have been doing this a lot longer than me – and they said they don’t see that very often but it’s not necessarily a sign of immaturity. That was a veteran move by Moustakas.”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM
GH: I did not get the impression from Parkins that Moose in anyway played the role of a prima donna with Covitz. This was not a Barry Bonds kind of punk. Moose’s willingness to talk with the rest of the media shows he was more miffed at Covitz’s impatience rather than playing superstar.

“[Jeff] Francoeur is in the corner cackling and laughing his ass off at the entire sight.”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM
GH: The young Royals are growing up quickly. Adversity and losing have a way of hardening the exoskeleton of an athlete far more swiftly than success. This is not all bad. 

“I think right now if you had to pick one guy [to be the Royals representative to the All-Star Game] he would definitely be our all-star. He’s been pretty solid all year long. He’s up there right now with a lot of confidence.”
George Brett, on Moustakas, 610 AM
GH: Moustakas was the hot prospect on the farm before Hosmer became the hot prospect on the farm. Moose was able to slip behind Hosmer’s shadow the past few years but now he is back out in the spotlight. And he appears ready for his curtain call. 

“I think there’s a chance that Carm gets the midday show on a permanent basis.”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM
GH: Parkins dropped this nugget Tuesday with some confidence in his voice. Does he know something we do not? Has he been given the word he will take over for Nick Wright? The name that keeps coming up as a possible replacement is Josh Vernier, a host out of Milwaukee’s SportsRadio 1250. Vernier worked with 610 Sports’ current program director, Ryan Maguire, at the Entercom sports talk station in Milwaukee. He supposedly is the leading candidate. But if he has balked at 610’s offer, Parkins could slide into that afternoon-drive seat. Rumors also include Sam Mellinger, Jeff Passan and possibly Kent Babb sharing a rotating co-host role with whoever takes over the gig. I expect this announcement to come soon. Maybe even this Friday. Stay tuned – or at least read your friendly OTC for more details.  

and Twitter / greghall24

About Greg Hall

Software guy who has been writing my Off The Couch column in KC newspapers, publications and websites since 1994. Has been bounced from some of the finest media establishments this side of State Line Road. Dad first and everything else second...and there are a lot of everything elses.

39 Responses to OTC: 610′s Danny Parkins Vies For Nick Wright’s Old Job & Tells Entertaining Randy Covitz Locker Room Tale

  1. Mike says:

    Who is this “Mouse” guy you keep referring to in the 2nd quote?

  2. JP says:

    First of all, is there a time Francouer is not giggling or laughing or smiling. Boy did we bet on the wrong horse. We could have traded Francouer, kept Melky, have Will Myers and his bat ready to come to the majors. Although, I don’t think he will hit the same as this team can’t get a clutch hit to save it’s life. They are 13th in the AL in runs scored, only Oakland is worse.

    As for Mellinger as a co-host, he can explain how he now has the SI Cover Jinx in his writing subjects. He writes a positive story about Paulino as a top of the line pitcher, and Paulino promptly gets injured. The Royals are hexed, no question about it.

  3. rkcal says:

    This is gonna be drive time talk radio? Really? Somebody got dissed and I can beat his ass? I hear more intelligent talk at work…….and I teach high school. Wow.

  4. Jip says:

    And then you have Brian McRae, who never talked to the media unless he was naked. (So I’ve heard)

  5. Merle Tagladucci says:

    Jared Carter: Wittiest, funniest dude on 610. Also tweets with style and humor. Possibly a Top-5 candidate for tweets among KC sports media, if he’s eligible to be classified as such. Mick Shaffer, hands down, heavyweight champ of tweeting in KC.

  6. Kyle Rohde says:

    I’ve heard the Vernier rumors also, from some people at a competing radio station. Makes sense – bring somebody you’re comfortable with, though that’s not always the best solution.

  7. rumors says:

    Rumors? You read the story about 610′s plans in this comment section. Why is everyone acting like they have some top-secret source?

    • Kyle Rohde says:

      I heard it from knowledgeable people outside of this forum, that’s all. First and probably last time I ever say something like that, so don’t think I do this constantly.

  8. donkeypunch says:

    Parkin’s show is unlistenable. Brutal radio

  9. John Landsberg says:

    From a media relations standpoint Moustakas acted like a complete jerk. To brush off Randy Covitz (Sportswriter of the Year in 2011 by the KC Press Club) at the area’s largest news outlet for some sports talkers was simply ignorant.
    His actions toward Covitz, who was probably on deadline, will spread through the KC Star like wildfire. If you are a columnist at the Star and you know that Moustakas treated one of your co-workers this way, how would you react?
    My recommendation to Royals’ PR guy Toby Cook would be to arrange for Moustakas to sit down with Covitz and repair the damage and move on. As they say, “Never get into a urinating contest with folks who buy their ink by the barrel.”
    It’s a lesson Moustakas really doesn’t want to learn first-hand.

    • Smartman says:

      Agreed, but probably not going to happen. Would imagine Toby would timidly make the request, Moose will give him the stare, Toby will piss his pants. This is one of those times when David Glass needs to intervene and tell Moose to apologize or head back to the farm for some humility training.

    • Hot Carl says:

      I doubt the Star, or any other outdated print publication on the edge of extinction, buys their ink by the barrel these days. The only people that would care that Moustakas made some old man angry are other angry old men. Nobody else reads the Star’s printed product any more.

    • Merle Tagladucci says:

      John Landsberg: Randy Covitz (Sportswriter of the Year in 2011 by the KC Press Club)

      Moustakas doesn’t even know which teams are in front of the Royals in the AL Central standings. You think he knows or gives a flip about the plaques hanging on Covitz’s wall?

      John Landsberg: If you are a columnist at the Star and you know that Moustakas treated one of your co-workers this way, how would you react?

      Who are we talking about here? Dutton, Dodd and Mellinger? Rosen? Are you including Jenee Osterheldt in that group as well? Either way, whatever you’re suggesting – that possibly one of those guys would go on the attack in the Star to stick it to Moustakas and defend their co-worker Covitz – how much good would that do them moving forward in their pursuit to cover the team, much less get quotes from Moustakas for their columns? Think about it Johnny!

      John Landsberg: As they say, “Never get into a urinating contest with folks who buy their ink by the barrel.” It’s a lesson Moustakas really doesn’t want to learn first-hand.

      Sure, Randy Covitz is now going to destroy the image of Mike Moustakas. Right after Ned Yost ruins Nate Bukaty’s career.

      John Landsberg: My recommendation to Royals’ PR guy Toby Cook would be to arrange for Moustakas to sit down with Covitz and repair the damage and move on.

      I’d recommend Randy man up and apologize. Or better yet, pretend it never happened and get on with business.

      Great comments as always John.

      • John Landsberg says:

        It’s obvious you have little knowledge how the media actually works. Any athlete who gets the reputation of being difficult to work with or uncooperative get branded. Think Barry Bonds, Albert Belle, Randy Moss, Allen Iverson, etc. Seen them in any commercials lately?
        If Moustakas gets a bad media reputation in KC that gradually spreads nationally. No matter what some of you think, the Star is by far the most powerful media voice in this area (online and print).
        If you think Covitz should apologize to some young snot ballplayer you are not playing with a full deck.

        • Jip says:

          I do see George Brett in commercials, and he was an ass to reporters for 20 years. Didn’t he hit one with a crutch one time?

        • Cliffy says:

          lol. His reputation with the media depends a lot more on his performance on the field than it does his treatment of reporters. Of course, people actually pay you to tell them crap like this, right?

        • Nick Wright says:

          Oh John, whatever you say.

    • Greg Hall says:

      John,
      One of the reasons I most enjoy this Comments section is to read dissenting opinions from my own. I could not disagree with you more on this one but I do enjoy reading a completely different perspective.

      Your stance on this is based on 1980’s thinking. The Star or any print publication has little of no power to sway public opinion in this digital age. That’s just the way it is nowadays. Covitz screwed up and was overaggressive in approaching the star of the game too soon after a tough loss. Why should an athlete be concerned about the technology limits of a print writer’s deadline? And to suggest Covitz and his coworkers would hold a grudge and purposely trash Moose? Who is the “complete jerk” in that scenario?

      Covitz needs a class in how to treat the people who help pay his salary. How was it that the other members of the media had no trouble with Moose and getting their interviews? Covitz’s job was to deliver a game story that The Star readers would find informative and entertaining. That should be his goal with every story — and he should act accordingly to attain that goal each game.

      • Bill says:

        Bingo, Greg. It would be one thing if he stood every reporter up. He just re-taught Covitz a lesson on locker room courtesy. And lets not act like Randy was in a hurry to beat deadline. Hell, he probably had all his story written and was just wanting to punch in a few quotes to finish it.

        • Smartman says:

          Au contraire. Covitz’s salary is paid by the readers. Moose’s salary is paid by the fans. In reality both were out of line, but star of the game or not Moose should show some respect to his elders. He’s fortunate and blessed to earn a living playing baseball. In the big scheme of things he’s not a name anybody is gonna remember in 20 years. So FUCK YOU Moose! Show some respect for your elders, the fans, the readers, the game and your parents who hopefully did not raise you to be a douchebag. If they did, then FUCK THEM TOO!

  10. KCPRGuy says:

    If 610 wants to beat BTL from the 2-6p time slot, they need to stop bringing in “non-KC” folks and go after 810 talent. Until you get someone who is going to stay behind the mic for quite a while, the revolving chair will kill the ratings. Parkins is decent enough but will be gone soon enough for a bigger market/payday.

    • Smartman says:

      See donkeypunch comment above. Parkin’s next broadcasting gig will most likely be at a drive thru…..” Please check the screen and let me know if your order is correct”. Bigger market my ass. PUHLEASE!!!!!!!

  11. Big idea says:

    Landsberg, you are out of touch. Do you think Mouse gives a rats ass about the KC Star? He is under 30, he doesn’t care what a newspaper says.
    He knows what all athletes in KC know, you produce, the Media will love you.
    You don’t, they start attacking.
    Welcome to the modern age of media, where sports talk, blogs and twitter, set the agenda and our view of athletes, not the newspaper.

    Case in point.. D. Thomas… did anyone talk about his 8 kids?
    Case in point.. Marcus Allen… did anyone talk about his wife cheating
    Case in point.. The entire 80′s Coked up Royals..
    Case in Point.. G. Schiraldi.. was known to be dick (I loved adding in a comets bit)

  12. Arte says:

    Randy Covitz’ style has nothing to do with being older. That’s just his style. He’s the Larry David of sports reporters.

    • Greg Hall says:

      Arte,
      I did a disservice to old guys in the media by insinuating that Covitz’s age is the reason for his clumsiness. As you state, that’s just his style. I believe he’s even less adroit now in his advanced years but he’s not suffering from old man crank. He’s just not very nimble when it comes to making his subject comfortable or drawing out interesting comments.

  13. Juan De Guzman says:

    Moustakis and Danny Parkin should get along swimmingly- they both sound like immature kids who don’t know how to handle an awkward situation. I’m not sure I’d take Parkins’ description of Covitz’ clumsy approach at face value, but even if it went down the way he says it did, Moustakis could have handled this without getting so bent out of shape. And he has to learn that you don’t stiff a print reporter and tell him your not talking only to turn around and do 6 minutes with the radio and on-line media guys. Someone in the Royals PR staff needs to explain to “Moose” how this stuff works. This entire incident smacks of “cool kids” putting the beat down on the old guy and thinking that this makes them really hot shit. What’s missing from the story is an ounce of professionalism from any of the participants.

  14. harwood benjamin says:

    View all of Covitz’s actions in this tale with the knowledge that he was on deadline and he didn’t have luxury of waiting around for Moustakas to get through his diva act. He probably had 10 minutes to get a few quotes before he had to turn in his article. You’d be a little impatient, too. Quotes are overrated, anyway, even though they are a conventional part of an article that the editors insist on. The real point of the tale is pointlessness of newspapers trying to fight the losing battle of generating worthwhile game stories with such anticompetitive deadlines.

  15. David Berryhill says:

    This kind of stuff happens all the time. Not a big deal. Covitz and Moustakas will speak again. It’s only a big deal to those who have not covered a beat or rarely venture into a locker room to work.

    • Greg Hall says:

      While it might not a big deal to beat writers who cover the locker room daily, credit Parkins for recognizing the value of the story for his talk show. It gave his listeners an inside look at Moustakas, Covitz and the post game locker room scene.

      Most members of the media are reluctant to call each other out as Parkins did to Covitz. I for one applaud him for treating Randy with the same disregard the media typically reserved for athletes and coaches.

  16. Ron says:

    Soren Petro was in the locker room? What’s up with that? I believe he got gored a few years ago for criticizing Royals’ players, who said they’d never heard of the guy or ever seen him in their locker room.

  17. Dave Stewart says:

    I’ve been covering the Royals clubhouse since 1979, Whitey’s last year. Herzog was the best manager EVER for the media to cover because he had no filter, Whitey just said whatever was on his mind. As for this talk of so-called protocol, times have changed. There was a time when most guys were comfortable doing interviews with a towel over their shoulders and around the middle. There was also a two-way respect factor, understanding when a guy was available, ‘good to go’. Now, we can’t even go in the visitor’s clubhouse with a camera in the pre-game. I was politely told I couldn’t speak to Justin Morneau till before BP at approximately 5;30 or after he hit. With a 6 o’clock show, it wasn’t possible to wait. Tony Gonzalez, late ’90′s, was legendary for having to be completely groomed before he’d speak after a game. His rule, we accepted it, and dealt with it. Marcus Allen wouldn’t do an interview after practice till he was showered with every hair in place which meant he rarely did mid-week interviews. I figured there was a trap door in the shower. He never returned. One time, on a Friday, I waited him out after his vintage, “I gotta catch a shower” line and thought he might have a heart attack in the locker room when he discovered me and a photographer still there, waiting at his locker. In the crowded “gang-bang” after a game, Marcus loved to whisper, knowing the guys in back couldn’t hear then got pissed when somebody repeated a question. FYI, Mike Swanson or David Holtzman would be involved in clubhouse relations for the Royals, not Toby Cook. As for baseball writers being irrelevant, that statement couldn’t be more wrong. They remain a powerful media force. The writers alone will dominate the main press box at the 83rd All-Star Game with the traditional electronic media in makeshift press areas down the line. It may be like what we had in Toronto, 1985, for the ALCS which is why we snuck into the unlocked suites, high above left field. Randy Covitz could’ve used a different approach, asking Moustakas if he was ready, but there was a time when younger players understood they had to earn veteran status that comes with service time. When the Cubs played here Kerry Wood’s rookie year, he was not only not allowed to play cards with the vets, he couldn’t even sit at the table. I like Moustakas’ game a lot, he seems like a good kid, but he might wanna settle down before challenging a respected writer who will most likely outlast almost every other media member in the clubhouse that night, or tomorrow night, or the night after that. There’s something to be said for longevity and like it or not, Randy has that going for him. Winning the Joe McGuff Journalist of the Year Award is a rare thing and an honor he deserved.

  18. Scott Simon says:

    Why would sound bytes mean anything to a radio guy? They’re just opinion-spouters.

  19. Monte Wilson says:

    Any possibility that Moose just “punked” the reporter, like the story says? As in, a practical joke? No, Im not talking, then talks to whoever stays around. That’s the way I read the story, and if I hadnt read the comments section what I took away from it.

  20. Pingback: Moose Punks KC Star Reporter | MLB.Fans-Talk.com

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