Eric Chavez. He's the A's number four hitter and leads the team in hits, home runs, doubles, RBIs and total bases.
People have credited his speech on the team bus as the impetus for the turnaround. And I recently had a chance to quickly check-in with Chavy while he was on this last road trip.
I want to thank Chavy for taking the time out to do this. Enjoy.
Blez: Every season it seems like you start out slowly. Has it almost become a self-fulfilling prophecy at this point?
Eric Chavez: My slow start is so frustrating to me, it is a mystery. I know the team needs my production from the beginning, especially when I am the only guy in the line up who has had 25 home run and 100 rbi seasons, it's my responsibility to get it done. I have tried so many things, but I am going to continue to try so many more things, I will never accept that I am a slow starter.
Blez: How do you feel about your swing right now?
Chavez: My swing is good right now, I have been pretty consistent the last two months, I am going to look to drive the ball more these next two months. I think I need to be more aggressive early in the count, let's see what happens.
Blez: How have the new guys, Payton, Witasick and Kennedy fit into the clubhouse?
Chavez: The new guys have been great, Billy filled the holes great. Payton has really been big for us as you all can see, Kennedy is going to be huge down the stretch, as a left-handed hitter I know from experience that he is tough on lefties and can get righties out also, back that up with (finally) a hard-throwing Witasick that can be nasty. Street is going to be the man, enough said.
Blez: Talk for a second about the young guys in the lineup. Dan Johnson, Nick Swisher, Huston Street and Bobby Crosby are all huge parts of this team.
Chavez: The rookies, let me tell you, we would not be doing what we are doing without these guys, Swish, Johnson, Street, Blanton, Haren, these guys are studs and I give them all the credit for our success.
Blez: Did you ever imagine that the team would be where it is now in late May?
Chavez: The back bone for the team, Zito, Kotsay, Kendall, are getting it done, not only with numbers but by example of how to play the game the right way. We play hard and never give up, even at 15 under, we still busted our butts and will the whole year no matter what happens.
Thanks, Chavy. AN appreciates your time.