My first sports interview went very well. Joe Ausanio, former relief pitcher for the New York Yankees and current Director of Baseball Communications for the Hudson Valley Renegades gave me an awesome 13 minutes over the phone to interview him. Without further ado, let the recap begin!
Interview w/Joe Ausanio:
What baseball player did you look up to in the Majors growing up?
Answer: Fred Lynn, Boston Red Sox CF.
How close were you to sign with the Atlanta Braves in 1984?
Answer: Not very close, I wasn't ready yet. I wanted to go to college and get a degree before I went pro.
A total of 18 pitchers have gotten Tommy John surgery this year- what are your thoughts on that?
Answer: I'm not really sure on that, Charlie. Most of these players are very quick to go under the "knife" It could be because they are quick to get surgery. I'm honestly not sure.
What pitches could you throw and who was the most intimidating hitter you faced?
Answer: I threw a split-fingered fastball and sometimes mix in a slider. I was never really intimidated by any batter, but Frank Thomas was a huge presence at the plate. He was a monster.
How was it like playing for Buck Showalter?
Answer: He was a very fair manager, he was a numbers guy. He was always straight up with you, honest manager.
Some interesting facts about you are....?
Answer: Well I could've been a professional bowler. I used to work at a bowling alley and I used to bowl 100 games a week. SIDE NOTE: I asked him if he every bowled a perfect game before (Oh yes he said) I also was a wrestling tag-team partner with WWE wrestler Gold Dust. SIDE NOTE: I asked him if 90% of WWE was fake (He said yes they were presented with a script, but the pain was real)
What is one stereotype about Major League pitchers that most fans perceive?
Answer: That pitchers aren't good athletes. Some pitchers could be basketball players, football players, etc.
Favorite food to eat in the Majors...?
Answer: You know Charlie I used to get into trouble for this a lot, but I loved McDonalds. I really liked Big Macs, they were just so good.
Who did you play under at Jacksonville University?
Answer: Tom Bradley, former pitcher for the Chicago White Sox. SIDE NOTE: Bradley was the person that gave Goose Gossage the nickname "Goose". Bradley called him that, because whenever Gossage was on the mound, he always saw "Goose Eggs" on the board.
How long did you play with the Mets for?
Answer: Less then a year, then I signed with the Rockies until the tailend of 1996.
What was your best game?
Answer: My first (and only) Major League save against the Detroit Tigers. I pitched three scoreless innings and struck out Lou Whitaker, who was a great player.
What did you major in at Jacksonville University?
Answer: Physical Education & Recreation
What aspects of Major League baseball do you think need to be improved/refined?
Instant replay system is very beneficial and it needs a little refining. I personally think we need to get rid of Bud Selig. He is an owner, not a neutral third party. I honestly think I could do a better job then him.
Best player you've seen come through the Hudson Valley Renegades system is...?
Answer: Josh Hamilton was just an amazing baseball player when he came through here and when he came back for his rehab stint. Evan Longoria was a close second also.
Joe Ausaino was a pleasure to interview and if anyone has any questions or comments on the interview with Joe Ausaino, feel free to comment below. Thanks!