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It's Johnny Cash vs. 'Johnny from Burger King'

Foulke's WEEI Interview Transcript Excerpts From Today

Michael Holley: “Keith after the game, you were interviewed by reporters, you made a comment about ‘Johnny from Burger King,’ first of all that comment has really resonated with a lot of people, some people took it tongue-in-cheek, other people were truly offended by it, there’s a counter point, counter point in today’s Boston Herald with two writers, one taking one position, the other going against you about the Burger King comment. First of all, what did you mean by that?”

Keith Foulke: “You know, the whole point of the comment was the fact that you know… ahh… you know what it, and the funny thing is there’s an ESPN commercial out there now where it has like Alex and Vladimir and a couple of other soccer players, they’re sitting there watching the guy do his job. You see that one? It’s not very exciting is it? No but it’s one of those deals where you know what? It’s hey, you’re gonna come to boo me at my work, maybe I should come boo you at your work. You know, if you do a bad job. But you know what, there’s no harm meant in that and you know what the media is gonna do what they do. They’re gonna go out there and they’re gonna write about it and make it into a big deal. You know but, they can’t do my job and I probably couldn’t do their job so I accept, boo me, and move on.”

Michael Holley: “So, just to be clear, you weren’t attacking Burger King employees or belittling what Burger King employees do?”

Keith Foulke: “You know what? Maybe I should apologize to Burger King but that was the first thing that popped into my head, I don’t know why. But the first part of the whole comment was, where it started the joke is the fact that I’m not inviting them to my World Series party.”

Mike Reiss: “Was that something Keith, after you said it you almost wish you had taken back? Did you realize…

Keith Foulke: “No, what’s wrong with it? What’s wrong with the comment? Who did I offend?”

MH: “Let me give you a counterpoint here from the Boston Herald, this is in Howard Bryant’s column…”

KF: “I don’t really need to hear this but…”

MH: “Well I was gonna say I’m gonna answer your question, (KF: “Go ahead”) because he felt like the Burger King quip was an unfair shot, his point is, you make $312, 500 per week (KF: “I don’t”) and a guy at Burger King is making $6.75 an hour and it’s almost rubbing it in that you’re in this position, you’re in an elite position, and Johnny from Burger King, this fictional character, is not.”

KF: “So what am I supposed to do?… I’m supposed to… I don’t make that much money either, by the way, I’ll show you my pay stub.”

MH: “(laughs) You asked the question, ‘who did you offend?’ some people were offended by it.”

KF: “Yeah, I apologize to those people. You know what, the whole, like I said, the whole part. It was part of a joke and once again the media goes out there. They don’t print the first part of the joke where it puts people in the funny mood. It started off with ‘I’m not inviting him, I’m not inviting the people that are booing me, I’m not inviting them to my World Series party.’… That’s where the joke starts. And the last line is kind of a follow-up line. If you don’t hear the first part, yeah you may not understand the second part. You gotta take the whole thing and evaluate the whole sentence. Not just part of it.”

MR: “Keith, just want to ask you a little about just general arm strength, can you just talk about your arm strength this year compared to last year? Do you feel stronger than last year?

KF: “You know what, it’s one of those deals, on the show a few weeks ago, a month ago, we talked about what we don’t talk about mechanics and baseball stuff, this is you know what it doesn’t matter about my health you know. I’ve had a pretty good streak where I was going out getting the job done for a few weeks and I had a bad day the other day. Things didn’t work out. But I don’t really come on this show to talk about my personal health and stuff so…”

MH: “Is there any similarity Keith between your tough year in Chicago, and I believe it was in 2002, and this year?”

KF: “Uhh no. There’s a lot of things going on in my life that people don’t know and they don’t need to know. But you know there’s… I don’t know. That was five years ago. I barely remember last October much less five years ago, so that’s one of those things I don’t know.”

MH: “You talk about some tough things going on in your life, would you care to talk about any of those things, even in general terms?”

KF: “(laughs) No, not really. It’s one of those things that you guys should know by now, I don’t talk about my personal life. I go out there and play baseball and that’s where my, that’s where it stops you know. I play baseball when I’m at the field and when I’m off the field, I’m Keith Foulke, or as most people refer to me, I’m Kevin.”

MH: “They call you Kevin Foulke instead of Keith?”

KF: “Everybody calls me Kevin. (sarcastically) ‘Hey Kevin, I’m a big fan.’ Sure. Come on over.

MH: “I’ll say this then. ‘Cause you’re not going to talk about your personal life. Is you personal life completely separate from your professional life? What I’m saying is, is there anything in your personal life that you take to the field?”

KF: “Obviously it’s a lot easier to take my personal life to the field because that’s my life. That’s why I’m here on the face of the earth, is to have a family, raise a family. It’s one of those deals that, there’s a lot of times where if things don’t work out you know you just go to the field, things just don’t work out you know. I don’t know. Everybody has their own problems.”

MR: “And Keith, not to get into the personal things you mention are, but are you finding it more challenging this season to separate that personal side, than past seasons?”

KF: “You know pretty much this season in a nut shell is umm, you know, people go out there and you know what I’m not a real different pitcher than what I was last year. The problem this year, I’ve made too many mistakes with fastballs. I’ve left too many balls over the plate. If I have let’s say 10 balls that were popped up, grounded out, missed, it’s a completely different year. But the thing is, there’s streaks in baseball. Some people are going to go out and have great seasons all the time. Apparently I’m not one of them. I’ll go through struggles every once in a while but it’s one of those deals that it’s, that’s the game of baseball. Sometimes things work, sometimes they don’t. And without struggles, you’d never have any glory. Everybody has to struggle, and it’s my time to struggle. I didn’t struggle very much last year, especially late in the year. Maybe the baseball gods are just making sure I’m still in check. But I still respect the game. I still play the game the right way. They’re just testing me.” (Listen to the rest of the WEEI interview with Keith "I never wanted to be a closer. I wanted to be a catcher and a starter" Foulke here)


"People should show up tonight wearing those paper hats that folks working in fast food restaurants wear. You just can't get away with saying stuff like that, I don't care if you're in Boston or Oakland. Foulke should know better. ...But he has a tendency to be very patronizing in almost all of his dealings with the media. And he was just as condescending to the fans. But don't hold your breath waiting for an apology; I may be wrong, but he doesn't strike me as that kind of guy." -- 7.1 Gordon Edes, chat

"Keith Foulke makes life tough on himself by insulting fans as 'Johnny from Burger King booing me,' and talking about granting interviews only to those who pay him. This is a man who makes his living playing baseball, while making it obvious that he doesn't like baseball." -- 7.1 Dan Shaughnessy, Boston Globe

"Well, before Foulke does something so stupid as run off at the mouth again about 'Johnny from Burger King' booing him, he might want to understand a few things about all those people who are paying his $7 million-a-year salary...

"Many of them have something else in common. The $45 grandstand ticket and the $75 box seat is probably more money than they can realistically afford. Yet they pay it anyway, scrimping and saving or loading it on an already-groaning credit card because the singular pleasure of seeing the world championship team in the best park in baseball is more than they can let pass by. For that, they are decidedly unashamed." -- 7.1 Brian McGrory, Boston Globe

"For the record, the minimum wage in Massachusetts is $6.75 per hour, which is what the Burger King on the corner of Boylston Street and Kilmanrock Street by Fenway Park pays. A person working a full, 37.5-hour work week at minimum wage earns $253.12. Two face-value tickets to last year's World Series games at Fenway Park last year cost $290." -- 7.1 Howard Bryant, Boston Herald

"Foulke likely will come to regret his remarks. That much is probable. Criticizing the fans in Boston is essentially a declaration of war, and you can bet that Burger King Johnny will be ready to pounce when Foulke slips up again. You screw up a few times, the fans will boo you. You fire back, they will likely boo louder. And in a place like Boston, especially, that is likely to continue so long as Keith Foulke keeps serving up home runs as if they were flame-broiled patties." -- 7.1 Tony Massarotti, Boston Herald

"Maybe he should make fun of himself and go to Burger King and
get behind the counter for an hour." -- 7.1 WEEI's Larry Johnson

Have it Your Way, Keith

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