“The Doorman” Interview

The Doorman

You’ve seen him a thousand times, even if you don’t know it. Mark Simons is on the telecast of nearly every Brewers’ home game. No, he’s not an on-camera personality or even the Brewers clubhouse attendant, he’s just another fan. Another fan with some sweet tickets and more FSN face time than Mike Rivera. “The Doorman” talks about the developing rivalry with the Cardinals, getting creative while heckling, his impressive jersey collection and a “magical” season in the making.

Listen to the interview here:

I’m here with Mark Simons, who is probably better known as “The Doorman” from regular appearances on FSN, and I’m just going to ask a couple questions.

Mark, the Brewers start a big series tonight against the Cardinals and it’s been a pretty heated rivalry between these teams the last couple of years, can you give us any insight into that St. Louis dugout and the tensions between the teams since you sit right next to them when they’re at Miller Park.

I think last year… Basically the Cardinals have sort of treated the Brewers, for as long as Ned Yost has been there, as sort of their little brother. They typically came into Miller Park and cleaned up. Last year was probably about the first time that I actually saw the Brewers really kind of put up a fight. I think you all remember the incident with Prince where La Russa hit Prince late in the game and the Brewers retaliated against Pujols with Seth McClung. Last year, they were pretty chippy. I could hear La Russa yelling at Dale Sveum and the Brewers’ dugout after that whole incident took place. There’s definitely a lot of tension when the Cardinals come into town that wasn’t necessarily there the last few years. It’s definitely a little bit more intense than it was. That’s for sure.

Yeah, and I don’t know if this is true, but it seems to me that you get more glares when the Cardinals are in town too. Do you go after them harder or are they just a little sensitive?

No, I definitely go after the Cardinals. They’re definitely a little bit more sensitive. And I’ll tell you, Pujols is actually a pretty good guy. I mean, I give him grief. The first time they came into town (this season), where he actually played second base and didn’t get a hit, they were sort of short on infielders. I started taunting him about his second baseman power. But he’s actually pretty good. The coaching staff, (Pitching Coach Dave) Duncan, (First Base Coach Dave) McKay and certainly Tony (La Russa) are definitely wound very, very tight. You can say a little bit to some of those guys. In particular, Chris Duncan was a guy that I enjoyed getting all over. Troy Glaus was another guy that didn’t take too kindly to having anybody question them in an opposing ballpark. They sort of acted as if, “Oh geez, we’re playing the Brewers so there’s only going to be Cardinals fans there.” I think they definitely know that it’s not going to be, “Come on in to Milwaukee and take three games without breaking a sweat.”

Yeah, and you talked a little bit about your heckling, do you have a favorite guy to heckle at all in the majors?

Well, lately it’s been Brandon Phillips from the Reds. Whenever the Reds come into town, they’re actually pretty entertaining. Griffey, I’ve seen him for so many years now and we both knew a guy so he and I actually usually have a conversation, you know, a friendly conversation before the game. Adam Dunn is also pretty cool. And Dusty Baker actually from all the years he was with the Cubs and all the grief we used to give him when he was with the Cubs, when he came in with the Reds, he looked for us right away, my wife and I, and said, “I’m not wearing the Cubbie blue, but I know you’re going to be after me.” I was like, “You got it.” But Brandon definitely, ah, you know when he first came up with Cleveland, he called himself the self-proclaimed nickname, “I’m going to be the franchise for Cleveland.” After two miserable years in Cleveland, he got basically waived and traded for a sack of beans to the Reds. So the last couple of times he’s come in here I’ve started giving him grief about the fact that he’s going to get traded again for the same guy he got traded for the first time. I always sort of taunt him and call him “The Franchise.” He’s responded by blowing kisses our way. But he takes it all in good fun. I did give him a little bit more grief this last time because he’s supposedly a good bowler so I told him if I had to roll against him, I’d definitely beat him.

So, it sounds like you do a little research before the guys come in then.

Yeah, there’s a great book called “The Who’s Who in Baseball” and that has basically everybody’s stats that’s in the Major Leagues. It’s a great resource when you need to find out whether or not somebody is coming off a career year or a guy that’s basically coming up, that’s basically nothing, you know?

“The Doorman” nickname, where did that come from? I think I heard that (former FSN personalities) Darren Sutton and Bob Brainerd coined it. Is that right?

Yeah, that’s correct. Actually Darren did it first. The Brewers were playing the Cubs and the game before I got excited after a Sosa strikeout and it was on ESPN. So, the next day, the Brewers were playing the Cubs again and I made a motion for Sammy Sosa to sit down. I was standing up and sort of gestured with my hand, “Go ahead, have a seat here, buddy.” And, a couple innings later, Bob Brainerd came down and said, “Hey, could we interview you?” And I said, “Oh, alright.” And he said, “You know Darren has given you the nickname ‘Doorman’” and I’m like, “Oh, wow.” That’s basically how that whole thing started. So, I have Darren to thank.

So, you weren’t “showing guys the door before that?”

No, not really. I was just basically taunting them. That was it. I don’t get out of hand. I know there’s a guy down in Tampa, the famous heckler who, you can hear him if you ever watch Tampa Bay broadcasts. You’ll hear him screaming at a particular player during the at bat. I really reserve my comments. They’re usually sarcastic. They’re usually after they’re coming back to the dugout after they made an out or they’re unable to get the run in or didn’t move the runner over. I’m usually like, “Hey, nice job moving the runner up” or, “Good job bringing the guy home.” Or, if a guy strikes out when he’s pinch hitting, “You’re telling me the pitcher couldn’t do that?” So, that’s kind of the stuff that I typically do. For the most part, it’s pretty good. There are a couple guys that get a little chapped about it, but, you know, for the most part it’s actually alright.

And you keep it clean too, right?

Oh yeah, absolutely. I don’t use profanity and I don’t talk about their families or anything like that. You know if a guy is batting .175 I’m definitely going to talk about the fact that he’s batting an interstate. But the quickest way to get thrown out of a ballgame is to use profanity and there’s been more than one occasion that opposing teams have wanted to get me tossed. Thankfully there’s been security that’s actually been down there that said, “The guy hasn’t said anything profane. He hasn’t said anything about your mother. Go play baseball.”

It seems like this year you’re getting some more face time for being the first guy to stand up for a home run. You’re pretty good at calling it off the bat.

Yeah, I’ve gotten fooled a few times this year though. There’s been a couple home runs, balls that I thought were home runs, that didn’t go out. When you sit and you see as many games as I do, you sort of know by the sound of the bat when the ball hits the bat and usually the trajectory of the ball as soon as it’s coming off the bat. Braun’s home runs are usually the easiest because he’s usually pulling them to left. Bill Hall is usually a little more difficult because when he’s going right, he’s taking it to right field and Corey Hart hits them all over the place and so does J.J. Hardy for that matter. Prince, I mean that just goes without saying. Usually whenever he hits it, you don’t have any time to worry about it because you know it’s gone.

Johnny, one of the Right Field Bleachers bloggers, vows to one day own more jerseys than you. How many would he have to shoot for right now?

(Laughing) Well, I’ve got a lot. I collect jerseys so he’s going to have to get close to probably about 100.

And do you have a favorite?

Well, my favorite all-time player is Rickey Henderson so when I was a kid in addition to liking the Brewers, I also liked the Oakland A’s. And Rickey Henderson, when the A’s were terrible in like 1979, was the only bright spot that I got to look at when I got to come home from school and got to look at the box scores and see that the Oakland A’s had lost, but then I’d see this guy “R. Henderson” and I was like, “Gee, I wonder who that guy is.” Of course, these was the days before ESPN or cable so as soon as I found out that he was actually pretty decent, he became my favorite player. I have more than my share of Rickey Henderson jerseys.

OK, well, if you ever want to mix it up and sport a Right Field Bleachers t-shirt at a game, let us know. We’ll hook you up.

Absolutely. In fact, I’ll definitely take you up on that. You send it to me and I’ll definitely wear it to a game, without a doubt.

Alright. You’ve seen a lot of losses from those seats over the years, I’m sure, so how fun has this season been so far for you?

It’s been magical. Last year was, I mean, it was magical until about mid-July and then when it hit August, it was like the worst month I’ve ever seen of baseball. Some of those losses they had last year, that Phillies loss on that Sunday, the Reds loss on Labor Day. Some of those, you just never forget them. This year, the start was kind of like how August felt. When May hit and Gallardo got hurt, I was as despondent as anybody else. I really kind of felt, you know, “Geez, maybe they’re just not that good. Maybe they are going to be destined for not making the playoffs.” When Braunie called out the team and they went on the run and certainly the pinnacle of getting Sabathia… That game against the Rockies was by far the most electric game I’ve ever been at and I’ve been to World Series games. It was just magical. People have just, they’ve responded. You see it in the attendance figures. It’s just absolutely incredible. It’s really nice to see and I hope that they can finish it off and get to the playoffs because I know it’ll be just one heck of a party.

Yeah. There’s just over a month left, 31 games left, do you think you’ll be sitting in those seats on the third base line in October?

As I’m knocking on wood, yeah, I do. I do think the Brewers have a really good shot and if they don’t get it, I’ll be as disappointed as I’ve ever been at any kind of sporting event. The way they’re playing, they’ve got the veterans and they’re playing well on the road. Last year and the year before and every year before that, they were terrible on the road. This year, at the time, maybe a week or so ago, they were tied for the best record in the Majors or in the National League on the road, which is fantastic. And that’s what they need to do. That’s what a winning team needs to do. It needs to play at least .500 ball or better on the road. As long as they do that, they’re going to be fine.

Alright, well, thank you for taking the time to talk to me.

No problem, Jared.

We’ll see you out at the games.

Sounds good buddy, take care.

You too.

Bye.

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