Over the past few years Bleeding Yankee Blue has interviewed a lot of New York Yankees. But we've also interviewed our favorite journalists and TV & Radio personalities. For me personally, Pete Caldera of the Bergen Record and Jack Curry of YES were my favorites...even before our interviews with them. But over time, Yankeeland has become obsessed with the likes of Meredith Marakovits, former YES talent Kimberly Jones and most recently... Bob Lorenz.
That's right, Lorenz, the guy with the the great sense of humor, terrific ties and a dynamic delivery for the YES Network. Bob can pretty much handle anything for YES and does it with grace. So we went for it, we reached out and got our interview with Bob and may I say, it may be our greatest achievement yet. Sure we love all our interviews, but Bob is a lot of fun and his personality shines through in this interview. It's an interview you will not see anywhere else... and that's because no one probably wants to interview him. THAT is a joke... and Bob of all people can handle alittle "busting of chops."
I am very thankful for the wonderful relationship we have with the YES Network and right now, it's my pleasure to bring you our interview with Bob Lorenz... enjoy this... we certainly did!
Bob Lorenz: I’ve actually been part of the YES Network team since nearly it’s inception 12 years ago. I guess I didn’t make much of an impression on you as I’d hoped the 1st 2 years! I knew I should have worn my lime green & canary yellow leisure suits more often. Anyway, it was great joining the YES team…a bunch of total professionals, and that has not changed to this day. When you ask what HAS changed, I’d say the technology, maybe. But the commitment to be better every day has not. That was instilled since Day One.
BYB: The banter between yourself and your co-hosts, most notably Jack Curry, are hysterical. How much of that is rehearsed, and how much of it is just plain "good chemistry"?
Bob Lorenz: The chemistry between Jack Curry and myself is TOTALLY rehearsed…then placed on cue cards, word for word. Kidding! Jack and I, along with our producer Jared Boshnack, usually have a brief pre-show meeting so we know what topics we want to cover and I can get an idea of what Jack wants to talk about. But other than that, it’s all “good chemistry” between Jack and me…not rehearsed…we just kind of wing it and see where it goes, especially on the post-game show.
BYB: So, Bleeding Yankee Blue is curious - who makes your ties?
Bob Lorenz: Ah, my ties. The regular ones or the clip-ons? Ha ha. I tend to favor Hickey Freeman ties. I found a long time ago that they have top-quality construction and materials, and tie a great knot. But I’m always on the lookout for great colors or patterns, too. So I have other ties from Armani & Hugo Boss.
BYB: Most of your time on the air is studio work - Pre and Post Games, and other shows on YES. But you've also spent some time doing play-by-play. Is that something you want to do more of, and should we expect to see you calling games in the near future?
Bob Lorenz: I do enjoy doing play-by-play, if for no other reason than it allows me to get out of the studio for a bit of a break. I also enjoy the challenge of it because it’s far different from the regulated work in the studio of “fill 30 minutes pregame & 45 minutes to an hour post game.” That’s finite. Play-by-play really is more of an art form. You have to fill anywhere from two and a half hours on up, while trying to make that entire amount of time entertaining and interesting for the viewer. Again, far different from trying to do that for 30 minutes. As for doing more of it? Perhaps one day, but I’m quite happy with my studio schedule and the opportunity to call 2 or 3 regular season series a year. However I can help the team, in that regard.
BYB: Some who have seen "Yogi and a Movie" are jealous of the time you got to spend talking with Yogi Berra. What's he like to talk to? Did he share any Yogi-isms with you?
Bob Lorenz: When YES asked me to host "Yogi & a Movie", that was my first thought…”I hope this makes people insanely jealous!” Ha ha. I was flattered and excited because Yogi Berra is such an icon. But far more than that, he’s such a gentleman and one of the most humble people I’ve ever met. Talking to Yogi was a lot like talking to my Dad. They were both World War II veterans, part of the "Greatest Generation", who gave so much sacrifice and service for the good of our country. The impression I got from talking to Yogi is that, he views himself as a regular guy who grabbed his lunch bucket and went to work…it’s just that his work happened to be playing for the Yankees and winning World Championships. And yes, throughout the course of our shows, Yogi would throw in some of his famous Yogi-isms.
BYB: Many of us grew up hearing Phil Rizzuto on TV during Yankee games and fondly remember his humor and fun demeanor. For the kids who are growing up watching you on TV, how do you want them to think of you when they get older?
Bob Lorenz: I love the fact that some announcers past and present are fondly remembered for their work, their style, their flair, etc. But I have to be honest, I just don’t ever think “how do I want to be remembered when I get older”? I don’t have a signature or catch phrase, never felt the need for one. I guess the only thing I could say is, I hope if kids watch what I do, they get the impression that “Hey, Bob looks like he has a lot of fun doing what he’s doing…I might like to do that someday, too.”
BYB: How did it all start for you, meaning, is this something you always wanted to do? Did you go to school for it?
Bob Lorenz: I was very lucky, in that, I knew from the time I was in 11th grade what I wanted to do. My best friend, Mike Kirsch, and I…between football & baseball seasons, would take his small Sony tape recorder to our high school basketball games and do play-by-play and color commentary of the games, while walking around interviewing our friends to get their thoughts on the game. That planted the seed. Ultimately, Mike & I played baseball at Cal Poly Pomona. He transferred to USC a semester ahead of me. During that time, I helped him with one of his TV production classes as an on-air talent. It was then that I knew…USC is where I had to go to further my career in TV. So I talked to my Dad, and he said, “Bobby, if you can get into USC, we’ll find a way to make it happen.” I did, and he made it happen. And I graduated with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. I also found a full-time job writing for a tele-text service known as CBS Extravision. And I got an internship on-camera with the City of Torrance, which had just started it’s own local cable production company. A lot of my first resume tape had work that I did for them.
BYB: Growing up, who did you admire in the broadcast industry and why?
Bob Lorenz: Growing up, I admired the older school style of broadcasters…Jim McKay, Curt Gowdy, Keith Jackson…guys who could do it all. And, of course, growing up in Los Angeles, I had the pleasure of listening to Vin Scully on Dodgers games, and I still do to this day. I catch as much of him as I can on the MLB Extra Innings package when I get home from work. In fact, one of my college papers was titled “The Day By Day Plan of a Play By Play Man” and it was based on Vin Scully’s preparation for a broadcast.
BYB: As a kid growing up, which baseball player did you love to follow and why?
Bob Lorenz: As a kid, and an avid baseball player growing up in LA, the Games of the Week were broadcast at 10am and 1pm on Saturdays our time. And usually before or after, NBC broadcast This Week In Baseball, hosted by Mel Allen. I loved that show because it exposed me to all the great plays and players in the game, far beyond the local reach of the Dodgers and Angels. I’ve never really been a die hard fan of one team.
Rather, I rooted for the hard-nosed, get-dirty kinds of players I’d see on TWIB…Fred Lynn, Robin Yount, Paul Molitor…in this day and age, the Jeters, Pedroias, Trouts & Harpers…guys who’ll crash into a wall or get dirty to make the play. Love those kinds of players.
BYB: Did you collect baseball cards are a kid? Football cards? What was your favorite? Do you still have them?
Bob Lorenz: I was not a hardcore collector of baseball cards. I loved them and would buy them, but to this day, I think my brother Tom has what’s left of our collection at his house. So, no I didn’t really have a favorite.
BYB: What's the biggest challenge in preparing for a game... and "John Flaherty" is not an answer...ha ha
Bob Lorenz: The biggest challenge in preparing for a game? And I can’t use John Flaherty as an answer? That’s not fair! Ha ha. Flash is as easy a partner to work with as they come. I think the biggest challenge in preparing for a studio show is figuring out how to fit in as much good content as possible in the limited time we have.
BYB: Free plug... what would you like to promote and where can people find you?
Bob Lorenz: Free plug? Hmm…my weight loss program really isn’t working out for me, so I probably shouldn’t tout that. How about this? Spend a lot of time watching our shows on YES and reading & viewing our content on YESNetwork.com, especially Jack Curry’s JCTV episodes.
Really insightful stuff beyond the realm of baseball with celebrities, actors, musicians and athletes. Also, read Bleeding Yankee Blue!
BYB: Final Question... Have you ever read Bleeding Yankee Blue? If so, what do you think?
Bob Lorenz: Have I ever read Bleeding Yankee Blue? Yes, and I find it up to the minute and worth a read…at least, I DID…until you asked me to be an interview subject. Now, I’m kind of questioning your logic and integrity. But thanks for the interview, it’s been fun!
Many, many thanks to Bob for taking the time to speak with Bleeding Yankee Blue and a shout out to Ike Dimitriadis, one our BYB's top writers for helping to make this interview happen for BYB! Great work! Also, shout out to Eric at YES... you're a man of your word and we appreciate you.
Finally, for all of you who love watching the YES Network and want to catch up on some of our other past interviews with the YES talent... check out the following:
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: MEREDITH MARAKOVITS
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: JACK CURRY
Great stuff... and we look forward to more! Hope you all enjoyed it.
-Robert Casey, CEO & Writer for BleedingYankeeBlue.com
Follow me: @BleednYankeeBlu
--Ike Dimitriadis, BYB Writer
My blog is: Shots from Murderer's Row
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