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.

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