Steve Berthiaume savors the conversations, if not the coffee

The fourth season of Cup of Coffee with Steve Berthiaume returns on Sunday, May 8, following the Diamondbacks-Braves game on FOX Sports Arizona.

FOX Sports Arizona’s Rocky Mountain Emmy Award-winning Cup of Coffee with Steve Berthiaume returns for its fourth season on Sunday, May 8. The first episode features Diamondbacks outfielder David Peralta.

Producer Josh Kelman sat down with Berthiaume to discuss his involvement in the program.

You’ve said many times that people always ask you about this show.

I get asked about the show 10 times more than anything else, and I think it’s because people really enjoy the connection that they get with the player. For the viewer, you’re really getting to know the person, not the player, and that’s a great benefit of these shows.

There’s a practical application for you too in that you get these guys undivided attention for 40 minutes. That must help with calling the games, right?

Stuff always comes up that I’ll just off the cuff mention to Bob (Brenly) during the course of the game, ‘Hey we had Bronson Arroyo on the other day and Bronson was talking about whatever it may be’ and it just it flows into the natural conversation between Bob and I. The strength of the Cup of Coffee shows is that it’s not an interview — it’s a conversation. I don’t want to do an interview, I want to have a conversation with them, and I think that’s the strength of the show.

Which players jumped out to you as particularly good guests?

Almost all of them go by quickly because the guys are so great about making it a conversation because I think they’re so used to standing in front of their lockers, facing 10 microphones answering rapid-fire questions — this is very different for them. So I think that that occurs to them pretty quickly and then they relax, and it just goes from there. So many guys have been terrific. Bronson Arroyo was great, Brad Ziegler was great, Goldy, who is very much like Derek Jeter in that he’s guarded and very careful what he says, he was able to relax and have fun.

This year’s season premiere is David Peralta (May 8). Why do you think he makes such a good guest?

His story is one in a million. The scouts call him Bigfoot because everybody’s walking around the woods looking, trying to snap a picture of the Sasquatch, and the Diamondbacks have one scout that found Bigfoot, the mystery person out in the wilderness somewhere. He’s every scouts dream. He’s the home run story, and his story has never happened before in baseball

You rarely drink coffee on this show.

I just have never been a coffee person. My wife (Cindy Brunson) drinks two pots a day. It’s just something that never occurred to me to do. Some of those weird things in life, I’m usually a diet soda person in the morning, so people get very upset when I don’t drink coffee on the show, so I’m drinking tea this year, hoping that that’s a happy medium that everybody will accept.

It’s an olive branch!

It is. It’s a gesture on my part.

Classic job-interview question:Iif you could have a cup of coffee with anyone from history, who would you pick?

The two characters in history that I’m really fascinated with are Charles Lindbergh and Lawrence of Arabia. Those are my two guys — I’ve read a lot of biographies on both those guys, so I think that would be fascinating.

How about in baseball?

Maybe Harry Frazee — the Red Sox guy who sold Babe Ruth — and just go, ‘What were you thinking?’ I’d pick him, I could berate him for a half hour.