Hey, everyone! I’m sorry for the delay, but today was a pretty exciting day for me. After getting in an intrasquad and a AAA game vs. the Cubs earlier in the week, I got to make my big league spring training debut today vs. the Padres. Even though the game didn’t go too well (Peavy was very impressive for San Diego), I got to get my feet wet and after calming the adrenaline down, I pitched a scoreless 9th inning, allowing a 1-out single to center. It was exciting, and I’m looking forward to my next opportunity!
I’ll answer a few questions tonight...then next week, I’ll answer more (I’ll try to do answers for them during the week so I can get to more of them)...
Lots of questions from xbhaskarx ...
*Do you pay attention to what's happening throughout the organization (Rivercats, A's, etc.) or are you too busy worrying about yourself and your own team?
Yeah, I pay attention. I have friends on all those teams, so I like to keep up with them and see how everyone’s doing. I keep up with a lot of minor league baseball...not necessarily how teams are doing, but how specific players are doing. I’m a big fan of the game at all levels.
*Are different types of players treated differently in the clubhouse? Are guys aware of which teammates are hot prospects (Barton), struggling (Charles Thomas), or 35 year olds with no real shot of making it to the big leagues?
Guys are aware of who the prospects are, but in the clubhouse, everyone’s treated the same (that is, as long as you’re not the new guy on a higher level team). :-) There is a lot of camaraderie among the A’s players...at all levels. Oh, and Charles Thomas had a GREAT big league camp...don't count him out!
*Have you read Moneyball?
Yes. I was drafted by Oakland in 2002, so it was very appealing to me.
*How do you feel about homosexual teammates?
No offense, but I’m going to avoid this one...too controversial of a topic.
*If you had to attack a political figure or ideology, which one would you pick?
*Between you and Mike Ziegler, are the A's drafting too many Zieglers or too few?
Too few. There can never be too many Zieglers. :-) If you know Mike at all, you’d know that he and I have very different personalities. Even though we weren't related, we got along great while he was in the system.
*You've been on a number of teams. How important is so-called "team chemistry?" Is it as Beane says truly a by-product of winning? Having been in A's camp for a couple of days now, is there a discernable difference between A's camp and camps of other teams?
I don’t think team chemistry is 100% a by-product of winning, but I do think they go hand-in-hand. We have a lot of guys who enjoy hanging out together off the field, too, which leads to a pleasant clubhouse atmosphere. And when things are good in the clubhouse, guys are usually able to relax and play their best.
I think big league spring training is pretty standard across the board -– very laid-back. But there is a huge difference between A’s minor league camp and some other teams’ minor league camps. The A’s are very laid-back, and aren’t afraid to let guys’ personalities show. Guys that come over from other teams have mentioned it, too. The Phillies had a lot of rules for their minor leaguers. We couldn’t wear sunglasses on the field at all (unless position players were wearing the flip-downs for day games), we had to show 2 inches of red sock at all times (couldn’t wear the pants down over the shoes), no facial hair below the top lip (moustache only), hair length had to be off-the-collar, and we had to wear collared shirts and shoes (no sandals) at all times. The A’s are much more laid-back, and as long as you’re not causing trouble, we are free to be ourselves –- and it’s a lot more enjoyable.
Thanks for the ANers who have come up and said ‘hi’ to me at spring training. It’s fun to be able to put a face with a name. Keep the questions coming, and please keep introducing yourselves to me, even after the regular season starts. Enjoy the week, and I promise to get to more questions next week...