What It’s Like to be a Yankees Clubhouse Reporter: An Interview with Meredith Marakovits.
Added by Nicole Sorce on April 5, 2013.
Ever wonder what it’s like to be the New York Yankees clubhouse reporter for the YES Network? Many diehard fans envy the day-to-day lifestyle of Meredith Marakovits, who broke down her typical schedule when I spoke to her in mid-March.
Nicole: So, hypothetically, it’s game day. How do you start your day?
Meredith: Let’s say it’s a typical baseball day where it’s a seven o’clock game. I’ll wake up at whatever time and read the papers immediately, then check a couple of websites online and make sure I don’t have any crazy emails or nothing insane went down.
Nicole: When do you head to the ballpark?
Meredith: Between 2:00 and 3:00. I’ll make sure I have all my stuff together by 3:00. I’ll talk to my producers and see what ideas we have for the day. I’ll throw out suggestions. He’ll throw out suggestions. We then decide what direction we’d like to go in for our pre-show and for the game.
Nicole: Most fans don’t understand why the media gets to the park so early. What else goes on?
Meredith: The clubhouse generally opens at about 3:30. I’ll head downstairs and network and see if anything crazy is going on. I’ll talk to some players, and the manager speaks usually around 4:00, so I’ll get in on that interview.
Then, I’ll tape the segments for our pre-show and I’ll get ready and be in my chair by 6:20. I’ll do a hit for the first show (the batting practice show), and then I’ll be on the pre-show starting at 6:30. Then after that, the game starts, and I go int my in-game and then eventually post-game duties.
Meredith Marakovits. (Ellen Wallop/YES Network.)
Nicole: Do you get home really late every night?
Meredith: Depends on how long the game is. If you’re a Yankees fan, baseball fan, or American League fan in general, you know they can sometimes creep up on four hours. There’s times you don’t get home until 12:00, 12:30, 1:00… depending if there’s extra innings or not. And then you pretty much wake up and do it all over again. A little bit like Groundhog Day.
Nicole: How does New York compare to other cities you’ve worked in?
Meredith: I think the sheer volume of media members is definitely far superior than to any other city. There are more people looking for angles and more people looking for stories. In a small market, you might only have four or five writers and players might be able to sneak out the other side of the clubhouse. In New York, you can’t sneak out. You’re often forced to be accountable.
Nicole: Do you think the media puts more pressure on the team than the fans do or vice versa?
Meredith: It’s a big stage. A lot of people are paying attention and there are a lot of demands. This fan base in particular, not only do they expect you to do well but they expect you to win a World Series every year. And it’s not just the fan base but the organization, from top to bottom and front office to players. They expect as much every year. I think that all comes with New York.
Nicole: Have you noticed a difference in the attitudes of players in New York vs. other places?
Meredith: Not everyone does well on that stage and not everyone likes the pressure, not only of having to produce everyday but having to answer questions everyday. You see guys come from a small market where they were very successful and come to New York, and it’s just not for them They can’t handle the daily rigors of what goes on.
A bigger market is just a different animal, and New York is a totally different animal.
Nicole: If you could give one piece of advice to people aspiring to have a career similar to yours, what would it be and why?
Meredith: I would just say work hard and be very conscious of your decisions along the way because once you’re branded a certain way, often times it’s hard to change your reputation. It’s really hard to go back.
You just need to be very careful and conscious of what you’re doing on a daily basis. You never know who’s going to see it and who’s going to sabotage you.
Nicole: What is your most memorable career moment?
Meredith: Oh wow – that’s a hard one! I don’t know. I don’t think I’ve had my best career moment yet. It’s only going to get better from here on out.