Interviews

INTERVIEW #1

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:

Question #1:
What baseball player did you look up to in the Majors growing up?

Answer: Fred Lynn, Boston Red Sox CF. 

Question #2
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.

Question #3
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.

Question #4
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.

Question #5
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.

Question #6
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)

Question #7
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.

Question #8
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.

Question #9
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.

Question #10
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.

Question #11
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.

Question #12
What did you major in at Jacksonville University?

Answer: Physical Education & Recreation

Question #13
What aspects of Major League baseball do you think need to be improved/refined?

Answer:
 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.

Question #14
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!

INTERVIEW #2


My 2nd interview went very smooth. Devante Lacy, an outfielder for the Johnson City Cardinals, was kind enough to interview with me for 14 minutes today via phone call. He was very nice and I enjoyed interviewing him. Here we go!
Question #1
Who is the toughest team you will face this year?


Answer: The Kingsport Mets, they know us really well and they've seen us in spring training so they already have a scouting report on our team.

Question #2
What are your biggest fears when you are up to the plate?

Answer: That I get injured again. I want to play a full season so I can contribute as much as I can to this team.

Question #3
Where and when was your first home run?

Answer: It was in spring training. We were playing in Jupiter, Florida and we were playing the Marlins. The pitcher threw an inside two-seam fastball and I knew as soon as I hit it, it was gone. The ball was a line drive to centerfield and I thought that it would hit the top of the fence. SIDE NOTE: I asked him if he got the ball back (He said no, some kid took it, and he grabbed a ball and wrote his name on it).

Question #4
How do you change your approach against a sidearm or a submarine pitcher?

Answer: I really don't change my approach when I'm up to the plate. I have the same approach with a pitcher that pitches over the top. I wait back until the ball crosses and until it gets deep in the strike zone and then I make contact and connect.

Question #5
What are some of your baseball related "pet-peeves"?

Answer: Not really that I know of... Well when I was in track back in high school, I put all my markings and stuff on my left side of my body. I pull up my sock on the left side of my body and it's just what I've done since Little League.

Question #6
Do you wear batting gloves when you are hitting and when you are fielding?

Answer: Only when I'm hitting.

Question #7
What is the biggest stereotype about minor leaguers that most fans perceive?

Answer:  That people think we are a bunch of gangbeaters. We come in and work hard like everybody else and we also take it one day at a time like everyone else.

Question #8
An interesting fact about you is......?

Answer: That I'm a huge skater fan. I go skating a lot on the weekends.

Question #9
Your favorite pro team is...?

Answer: I gotta go with the Cardinals.

Question #10
What are your individual goals?

Answer: I want to go out and be the best that I can be and contribute as much as I can to the Cardinals.

Question #11
What is the coolest name in minor league baseball besides your own?

Answer: The Danville Braves.

Question #12
When do you believe you'll be up contributing in the Majors?

Answer: I'm not sure on that. I want to take each day here in the Minors one day at a time.

Question #13
What do you plan to do after baseball?

Answer: I plan on working in my dad's construction & electricity company after baseball.

Question #14
Were you a single or dual sport athlete?

Answer: A dual sport athlete. I participated in football and track (besides baseball).

Question #15
Who influenced you growing up?

Answer: I admired my parents a lot. My dad was always there to help us and my mom always put the food out on the table for us and helped us a lot with our homework and problems.

Question #16
Did you ever qualify for the summer Olympics in track?

Answer: Haha no it was just for the workout.

Question #17
Who did you play under at Cedar Valley?

Answer: I think it was a guy by the name of Robert Dally.

Question #18
How did you get injured?

Answer: The first time I was in batting practice and a teammate hit me with a bat in the genitals. The second time I was working out and I tore an AC joint in my shoulder.  My plan for this year is that I play a full healthy season.

Question #19
How fast can you run?

Answer: I think I could run a 4.4 second 40 yard dash time.

Question #20
Do you live with a host family or do you sublet an apartment?

Answer: I live with a host family.

INTERVIEW #3
My 3rd interview went very well. Gosuke Katoh, a second basemen for the New York Yankees , is the #10 prospect in the Charleston River Dogs  organization. He is highly touted by many scouts and many said that the Yankees had a steal taking this guy in the 2nd round in the 2013 MLB Draft. Here is the recap from the interview!



Question #1
Who are some of the toughest pitchers you've faced this year?

Answer: Hunter Harvey and James Dykstra because they have so many different types of fastballs.

Question #2
What are some of your biggest fears when you are up to the plate?

Answer: Sneezing during a pitch.

Question #3
When and where was your first professional home run?

Answer: It was last year and it was my first hit for the GCL Yankees.

Question #4
How do you change your approach against a side-arm or submarine pitcher?

Answer: Sidearm pitchers usually have a lot of tail and sink on the ball so I look to go the other way and see the ball up.

Question #5
What are some of your baseball related "pet peeves"?


Answer: Stepping on the lines.

Question #6
Do you wear batting gloves and do you wear one when you field?

Answer: I wear batting gloves and I wear one for extra padding under my glove.

Question #7
What is the biggest stereotype about the minor leaguers?

Answer: Everyone thinks the Minor Leagues are miserable, but we have a great time.

Question #8
Interesting facts about you are....?

Answer: I love listening to dance music.

Question #9
Favorite pro team is..?

Answer: Gotta be the Yankees.

Question #10
What are your individual goals?

Answer: Contribute to the Yankees and win a World Series.

Question #11
What is the coolest name in minor league baseball besides your own?

Answer: Kannapolis Intimidators.

Question #12
When do you believe you'll be up contributing in the Majors?

Answer: That's not my decision, so I don't know.

Question #13
What do you plan to do after baseball?

Answer: Help others with their dreams.

Question #14
Were you a dual or single sport athlete?

Answer: I played soccer until 6th grade.

Question #15
Who was your biggest influence growing up?

Answer: Ichiro Suzuki.4

INTERVIEW #4
My 4th interview ran like clock work. Maxx Tissenbaum, a Canadian shortstop turned catcher for the Charlotte Stone Crabs was nice enough to interview to me for an awesome 20 minutes. Maxx is also a blogger and was named a Florida State League Mid Season All Star.  If you want to check out his blog, click HERE! Here's the recap from the interview!

Question #1
Who are some of the toughest pitchers you've faced so far this year?

Answer: Jose Berrios (J.O. Berrios) or  Daniel Norris Berrios is a power pitcher with a 94-95 MPH fastball and Norris is a pitcher with a 92 MPH fastball with a big, looping curveball.

Question #2
What are some of your biggest fears when you are up to the plate?

Answer: Try not to be afraid with an 0-2 count, I'm usually confident with an 0-2 count unlike most hitters. 

Question #3
When and where was your first professional home run?

Answer: It was my first season, 3rd or 4th game. I was with the Eugene Emeralds (San Diego Padres short season affilate) and we were playing against the Spokane Indians (Texas Rangers short season affilate) in the Northwest League. It was a line drive home run over the centerfield wall, and I assumed that it wasn't going to be a home run, but then it cleared the wall when I was about halfway to first.

Question #4
How do you change your approach against a side-arm or submarine pitcher?

Answer: They don't throw hard, so you got to wait and let the ball come to you.

Question #5
What are some of your baseball related "pet peeves"?

Answer: I don't like when the batters or pitchers have fidgets (ex. David Ortiz with the spitting into the hands and Nomar Garciaparra readjusting everything after every at bat).

Question #6
What is the biggest stereotype about minor leaguers?

Answer: That hearing "professional baseball athletes" you automatically assume that we are rich athletes. Everyone assumes that baseball players are rich, because of hearing big names like A-Rod and Pujols getting an absurd amount of money to play baseball.

Question #7
What are some funny facts that your teammates don't know about you?

Answer: I used to do movies and commericals and I play hockey as often as I can after practices.

Question #8
Your favorite pro team is...?

Answer: Ehh I might get in trouble... but a toss up between the Yankees and the Rays.

Question #9
What are your individual goals?

Answer: Get as much work as I can in as catcher and receive the ball behind the plate. SIDE NOTE: I asked who the toughest pitchers with the most signs were, he said that his roommate Kevin Brandt had the most complex signs.

Question #10
What is the coolest name in minor league baseball besides your own team name?

Answer: Omaha Storm Chasers and Durham Bulls.

Question #11
When do you believe you'll be contributing in the Majors?

Answer: In a few years.

Question #12
Who was your biggest influence growing up?

Answer: My parents. They would hit ground balls to me after school and practice with me after school.

Question #13
How many blog views do you have and what do you blog about?

Answer: I blog about our season. I have about 22,000 views on my blog.

Question #14
How close were you to sign with the Blue Jays?

Answer: Not very close at all... the Jays picked a ton of Canadian players before me and said that unless something crazy happens, we aren't going to sign you. I had my heart set on college anyways.

Question #15
What was your experience like playing in the Arizona League?

Answer: It was a long, brutal schedule and there were 115-120 degree days in the summer and the schedule was basically a three hour practice then a game. The games were usually really slow, because everyone would be tried and they would make a lot of errors.


INTERVIEW #5

1.   As of now on my 5th interview, the interview process for me just seems to get easier with each interview. Jordan Ribera, a former College World Series champion, was kind enough to give me an interview as a member of the Modesto Nuts.  Here's the recap of the interview:

Question #1
Who are some of the toughest pitchers you've faced so far this year?

Answer: The lefty Wandy Peralta from the Bakersfield BlazeBryce Bandilla and Matt Lujan from the San Jose Giants.  Peralta works quick, he has a good two seam fastball that has good movement on it. Bandilla has great accuracy and he can throw 95-97 mph on his fastball.  Lujan has a great curve ball and really fools hitters with his off-speed pitches.

Question #2
What are some of your biggest fears when you are up to the plate?

Answer: Getting hit in the head with a fastball.

Question #3
When and where was your first professional home run?

Answer: I was with the Tri-City Dust Devils vs. Boise Hawks  in Boise. It was a 3-1 fastball, and it hit the top of the fence and bounced off the top of the wall and went off. 

Question #4
How do you change your approach against a side-arm or submarine pitcher?

Answer: It's completely different; the ball tails and it sinks.

Question #5
What are some of your baseball related "pet-peeves"?

Answer: When a pitcher works too fast and when you don't have time to get out off the box. It's also frustrating when you can't step out and break the pitcher's rhythm.

Question #6
When is the biggest stereotype about minor leaguers that common fans perceive?

Answer: The financial aspects of the minor leagues. I make about $1,100 a month so it's not much to live on. FUN FACT: I did the calculations and let's say that there are 30 days a month. A typical minor league team has about 1-2 days off a month.  An average minor league baseball player at the Class A advanced level makes about $12.64-$13.09 a game. That's not much to live on.

Question #7
Interesting facts about you are....?

Answer: I'm a great cook and I like anything that includes a board (wakeboard, surfboard, skateboard, etc.)

Question #8
What was your favorite professional team growing up?


Question #9
What are your individual goals?

Answer: To finish strong, improve power numbers and to continue to play better.

Question #10
What is the coolest name in minor league baseball besides your own?


Question #11
When do you believe you'll be contributing in the Majors?

Answer: I hope to be contributing in 2 1/2 years.

Question #12
What do you plan to do after baseball?

Answer: Coach or get into real estate. Real Estate has always been something I've wanted to do.

Question #13
Were you a dual or single sport athlete growing up?

Answer: I was a dual sport athlete. I was actually recruited by Fresno State to play football instead of baseball.  If I did play football, I would've been a middle linebacker.

Question #14
How was it like playing at Fresno State?

Answer: It was an enthralling experience. I won the College World Series when I was a freshman. I equally enjoyed playing under Mike Batesole , the manager for the Bulldogs.

Question #15
How did it feel to be Western Athletic Conference player of the year?

Answer: It was a honor and I felt that all the hard work paid off.