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Thread: THE! Lookouts Interviews (Long, but you knew that didn't you)

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    Member SirFelixCat's Avatar
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    THE! Lookouts Interviews (Long, but you knew that didn't you)

    Well, hope you guys have some time here...when I tell a story, I tend to go into serious details (ie. get comfy), and well, I'm gonna tell the story about this great opportunity I had. So go get an adult beverage, sit back, and live vicariously thru me

    (NOTE: I am going to post this in 3-5 parts (posts). I'm doing all of this in one sitting, so if you read this and it's not finished, be patient, the rest will be coming in a few minutes. It's a long, but great story, IMO )

    I almost forgot to mention, that I had spent the entire morning at work (hey, we had NOTHING else to do) organizing my questions for the three lads (I'm 28 and these guys are "lads" to me :MandJ: ). I encorporated just about every single question that was posted in the thread I had on here earlier and also the ones that were PM'd to me. Plus I added a dozen or so of my own.

    The idea of trying to get some interviews started in spring last year. We have the Greenville Braves here in town (AA for the evil Bravo's), and I knew that Chattanooga would be making a trip here early in the season. I figured you never know unless you asked, so I'd see if I could. Well, Larry Ward, would be the place I would start asking (he is the voice of and traveling secretary of the Lookouts...and as I found out, babysitter too :mhcky21: ). Also, I figured you guys would love to hear some of the things we wonder about from the proverbial horse's mouth, so I emailed him.

    To my surprise, he wrote back the next day and asked what media source I was representing...Redszone.com, of course. I sent him a reply telling him that I wasn't "media" perse, but just a fan of the largest and best fan-run forum for the Reds, on the net. He said sure, we can work something out. He told me to call him when they got into town the following week.

    Well, Mother Nature, was apparently against the whole idea, as she rained out the first 2 games and the Lookouts played an abbreviated DH (morning/afternoon) and left town. So no dice there. That was their only trip to Greenville last season. So onto this season....

    I had thought about trying it again and when I saw that Dustin Moseley (DMos from here out) and Edwin Encarnacion (EdE) were both going to be in Chattanooga, I was DEFINITELY going to try and get those interviews this season! So I contacted Mr. Ward again, and he was all for it. He told me to call Friday afternoon.

    Noon Friday, I called. Nervous as all hell too He said they weren't in town yet, but to call back later...so about 3pm I call him back and he says that I'm hooked up with a press pass :rockon: and to pick it up around 4pm. Also, I had asked for DMos, EdE, and William Bergolla for interviews that day. He said they were all set up and that with the press pass, I had full access to batting practice, the press box, carte' blanche...WOOHOO!!!

    So 4pm rolls around and I have butterflies something fierce...wouldn't you??? I should mention that my good buddy Dan Scott (writerdan33 on here) helped me with some advice on what I should during BP and such. He just told me to "look like I knew what I was doing"...hey, I can do that, right? Anywho, I pick up my press pass (yea, that's right, I'm media, BACKOFF!) and put the pass on my Cincinnati Reds necklace/badge holder thingy and walk on in. Keep in mind, this is also Opening Day for the G-Braves...so there were a few cameras and a big crowd expected. The Braves are moving to Pearl, Mississippi, after this season, so this was kind of a big deal (I'm still upset about us losing a AA franchise, but that's another story).

    I walk in thru the gate and see the field open up in front of me...there is just nothing like walking into a ballpark for the first time each season. The green grass, smell of elephant ears, hotdogs, all the things you associate with a ballpark. *sigh*

    So I start walking over to the visitor's bullpen where I see the Lookout's stretching and just hanging around. I try to walk with purpose, but I'm not sure how I did, because I couldn't remember where Larry said we'd meet. So I sit down in the corner of the bleachers, right near the BP, trying to get organized. I look around and see an older gentleman heading my way from the direction I came and I assume, rightly so, that it is Larry. I tell myself to act like this is "old hat" and to be professional. We introduce e/o and he asks if I'm ready. Sure am, I reply. He leads me over back to where I was right near the BP and he looks around, seeing who is not busy. I secretly pray that it's DMos first because I have no idea if EdE and Bergolla speak english well and I forgot to ask! As luck would have it, he hollers over to a clean-cut kid who is the only one not in a practice jersey. The young guy jogs over to us and Larry asks where his jersey is. He said he forgot to pack it and then proceeds to tell him that, hey, when your roommate does the laundry, this and that, blah blah, it isn't his fault. 2 things happen here...Larry gives me this look like "Damn CHILDCARE, I tell ya!", and some of the other fellas start giving Dmos crap. :MandJ: Anyway, Larry introduces us and Dustin hops the fence to come sit in the bleachers with me and we begin:
    Last edited by SirFelixCat; 04-20-2004 at 04:30 PM.

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  3. #2
    Go Reds Go! UKFlounder's Avatar
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    Re: THE! Lookouts Interviews (Long, but you knew that didn't you)

    Great 1st post - I can't wait to read the rest. You've done an excellent job of setting the scene.

  4. #3
    Member SirFelixCat's Avatar
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    Re: THE! Lookouts Interviews (Long, but you knew that didn't you)

    -On my pages of questions for the guys, I have little notes to myself like "Don't interrupt", "Tell him that I'm just a fan and that the only place this is going to show up is on www.Redszone.com" etc. I also have notes about the guys...where drafted etc. I wanted to be prepared and all

    -I have with me my digital camera, mini-cassette recorder with attaching mic, and my clipboard. I'm all set...

    So we sit down, I'm laughing because he's trying to tell me the reasons why he's out of uniform, but I can't help it. It's funny. It really is.

    I ask him to attach the microphone to his shirt and turn on the recorder (the interviews are taken, nearly verbatim, from what I recorded):

    Q: Is there anything different, that you noticed, about the preparation or instruction in S.T. this year vs last?

    A: Not too much...it was more structered than it was in the past, but as for the instruction, for the us guys who have been around and got everything mechanically figured out, there are a few things we have to go back over, but not too much. Now for some of the younger guys, some who were just signed and stuff, I saw a lot of the coaches really helping those guys out. But for us, they kind of let us do our thing and if we needed a little help, they would help us out.

    Q: Along those lines, how do you like the new pitching philosophy the Reds have instituted and have you and the other pitchers bought into it (Pitch to contact)?

    A: For a guy like myself, everything he was talking about (Naehring), everything he wants a pitcher to do, I feel like I've done the last 3 years. It's the way I pitch. I go inside, I'm not afraid to go after hitters, I get a lot of ground balls. As you've seen from my numbers, I don't have tons and tons of strike outs like some of our other guys do, so as far as him building a pitcher and molding a pitcher, from what he's saying, a lot of that stuff I already do. It fits in perfectly with me, I don't have to change anything, that's just the way I've always pitched.

    Q: Speaking of pitching inside, Don Drysdale was quoted as saying, "Half of the plate is mine, half is the hitters, I'm just not going to tell him who's is who's". So does that fit the way you think on the mound?

    A: (Chuckling)Oh yea, oh yea man. That plate, that plate is ours (the pitchers). You know what I'm saying? I mean, that's my job. The hitters, they get paid, they're gonna get me, but hopefully I can get them, more often than not.

    Q: The Reds have made it clear that they will be giving more opportunities to young pitchers in the coming years. A definite change in philosophy, instead of "retreads" like Jimmy Anderson (yes I said that). How much competition is there between you and the other pitchers on the Lookouts, to be one of the guys they look to first? Also, with the competition between yourself, Brandon Claussen, Bubba Nelson, Bong, yourself, Etherton...is it friendly competition?

    A: Yea yea yea, me and Charlie Manning were talking the other day, we got to be friends in Spring Training, and as you know, his last outing he went out and "just dealt" with 9 strikeouts, so now, my next outing, I come out and get 7 shutout innings. So yea, it's friendly competition. I've played with guys, who you could see it in their eyes, or feel like they have a tough time telling you "good job", but the 5 starters we have here, we all want eachother to do good, I just want to be doing better than him. I hope Charlie has a 1.00 ERA...I just want a 0.70 ERA, you know what I'm saying? I like it. It just makes it to where we keep raising the bar and making each other better.

    Q: As close as you are to the majors...there was talk, in S.T., about the last 2 spots in the rotation (for the Reds) were open, how much pressure do you feel to put up big numbers, so that you get that promotion? Is it something you think about or do you try to put it out of your head and just concentrate on going out there and pitching as best as you can?

    A: That motivation, man. That's my ultimate goal. I'm not sitting here, playing Double-A, wanting to play here for the next 10 years. This year....uh.....this year has been, uh, in a way, a little....disappointing, the way it started out. I was told one thing and then something totally different happened.--------I interjected here and asked him what he was told and what really happened....hey, investigative reporting...the people have a right to know! ----------------As far as having a chance to make the team, which wasn't the case, that didn't happen, and then, that I was going to be an everyday starter in Louisville, and then we do the trade with Reitsma, and I get sent to Double-A. It's disappointing, but at the same time, it's motivational. I try to look at everything in a positive sense, I got that from my mother, and as far as the Big League goal, it is always in my eyes, it's always on there. I told Tim (Naehring), even though I'm going to go out here and act like the same Dustin Moseley, you gotta understand that I'm disappointed and I'm a little upset, because I'm trying to get back to Triple-A.....

    Q: So you use that as motivation then?

    A: Most definitely

    Q: Kind of a "I'll show you"

    A: Exactly!

    Q: That was going to be my next question...why are you in Chattanooga. Most of us (fans) thought that you would be in Louisville, so we were surprised when you got sent down here...so I guess the Reitsma trade with Nelson and Bong is the answer then....

    A: That's what they said. It's a numbers game and I'm the odd man out. YOU figure that one out!

    Q: So do you feel, for lack of a better term, "Dissed" but the organization? Do you take it personal or see it as the business of baseball?

    A: It's the business of baseball, but I take it personal. This is my future. This is what I'm doing, I'm trying to get up there and help the Cincinnati Reds. I was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds, I LOVE the Cincinnati Reds, you understand what I'm saying? I'm not a trade-over guy that still misses the team they were with. This is the only team I've been with and for me to grow up in the organization and done well everywhere I've been, just about, and then to be sent back down when everyone is talking about growing from within (the pitchers being developed in house) it's....it's disappointing, it really is, in a sense I do take it personal.


    2 things here: First, you should have seen the hurt in his eyes. This kid has fire inside him...in a good way. He nearly had tears in his eyes when he was talking about his last part. He wants up there BADLY! And he feels somewhat shafted, due to the Reitsma trade. Secondly, we had to stop the interview here, for now. He had to go stretch and run some, so in the mean time, I caught my breath, enjoyed the gorgeous afternoon sun and waited for EdE to make himself available

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    Member SirFelixCat's Avatar
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    Re: THE! Lookouts Interviews (Long, but you knew that didn't you)

    I was really glad that I got to interview Dustin first...he was a great guy, very personable, and very friendly. I didn't know what to expect, but this was better than I hoped for. Not a one or two word answer, but he just let out what he thought/felt. FWIW, the look on his face, at the end of that first part of the interview was like, "Man, ain't this just a $%#@!" A frustrated look on his face, on his body, but he really looked determined. Just an all-around great kid.

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    Vavasor TRF's Avatar
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    Re: THE! Lookouts Interviews (Long, but you knew that didn't you)

    This is a fantastic read. great work SC!
    Suck it up cupcake.

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    MarsArmyGirl RosieRed's Avatar
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    Re: THE! Lookouts Interviews (Long, but you knew that didn't you)

    SC, I know you have more to post still, but I just want to say thank you for doing this and taking the time to do it and posting it on here. Great read, great questions, great answers.

    Thank you!


  8. #7
    You know his story Redsland's Avatar
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    Re: THE! Lookouts Interviews (Long, but you knew that didn't you)

    This is killer work, SC.
    Makes all the routine posts.

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    Member SteelSD's Avatar
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    Re: THE! Lookouts Interviews (Long, but you knew that didn't you)

    GREAT stuff, SCR!! My thanks!

    Mods, could you sticky this thread please?

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    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: THE! Lookouts Interviews (Long, but you knew that didn't you)

    Ditto on the sticky request. Great interview, SC. Better than 99% of what you see in the media.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

    I'm witchcrafting everybody.

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    Vavasor TRF's Avatar
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    Re: THE! Lookouts Interviews (Long, but you knew that didn't you)

    Anyone know if TMos still reads/posts?
    Suck it up cupcake.

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    You know his story Redsland's Avatar
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    Re: THE! Lookouts Interviews (Long, but you knew that didn't you)

    Quote Originally Posted by TRF
    Anyone know if TMos still reads/posts?
    i haven't seen him post in a very long time, but his member profile says he was here this morning.

    He is not going to be happy to learn about Dustin's laundry situation.
    Makes all the routine posts.

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    Re: THE! Lookouts Interviews (Long, but you knew that didn't you)

    Great stuff! Thanks SC!
    Hide your power alleys; Hide your wife

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    Re: THE! Lookouts Interviews (Long, but you knew that didn't you)

    Quote Originally Posted by TRF
    Anyone know if TMos still reads/posts?
    He PM'd me the other day, so he is around.
    Will trade this space for a #1 starter.

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    Member SirFelixCat's Avatar
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    Re: THE! Lookouts Interviews (Long, but you knew that didn't you)

    Once I finished up, Larry came over and immediately went and found EdE and brought me over into the bullpen and we sat on the bench. EdE is from the Dominican Republic and is one built dude. Serious upper body. I introduced myself and asked how his english was (faux paus? he didn't seem to mind). He said it was ok. I handed him the mic and he put it on his shirt and away we went...I tried to start off with more general, more fun questions this time...so that he would feel more comfortable speaking to me in english. I'm going to paraphrase many of the answers, due to the language barrier in parts :

    Q: Anything you noticed different this spring training vs last season?

    A: This spring training was much better. -----Why?-----More structured, more work getting done. I enjoyed it more.

    Q: Who would you most like to face (pitcher) in the Majors?

    A: Pedro Martinez....because he's the best out there.

    Q: Anyone out there you wouldn't like to face (pitcher)?

    A: Randy Johnson...*we both chuckle here*

    Q: What do you do when you're not at the ballpark? What do you do in your spare time?

    A: Playstation 2...-------What's your favorite game?-------MLB 2003

    Q: What's your favorite ballpark that you have ever played in? Whether it be back home, in Double-A, wherever...

    A: In the future's game, at the White Sox stadium (Comerica). It was great!

    Q: Least favorite?

    A: Back home in the Dominican Republic. It wasn't good! :MandJ:


    Not a smooth transition here, but hey, it was my first day of interviews :o

    Q: What was the main difference in your game from when you first started out in Double-A in 2003 and when you returned to Double-A, after being sent to Potomac?

    A: I didn't do very good when I first was in Chattanooga, so they sent me down and I kept working on my swing, so when they brought be back up, I felt better, more relax, more confident with the bat.

    Q: These days, you draw more BB's than you did when you first started playing pro ball. Is that something that you have done on your own, or is it something that the coaches stressed to you?

    A: The coaches, Jaime, Paul, they trained me, I hear everything they tell me, and they told me to be more selective, and I see the pitches better now, now that I'm more comfortable.

    Q: have you had any contact with Ron Oester since ST?

    CQ, You should have seen the blank stare I got on that one...so we moved on

    Q: When you were in Dayton, the Reds tried you out at SS. Did you feel comfortable there and could you see yourself playing there at some point? Do you prefer to stay at 3B?

    A: I can play SS. Wherever they want me to play, I play. I like 3B more, but I just want to play. Whatever they want me to do, I'll do.

    Note: EdE didn't seem all that comfortable during the interview, which in turn made me a little uncomfortable, so that is why I didn't really press for answers. Plus, I had pitchers throwing right behind me and guys stretching right in front of me, so I didn't want to be "out-of-line" with anything.

    Q: Do you feel any pressure being as highly a rated prospect as you are? Or is it simply, "See de ball, hit de ball"?

    A: If you have pressure, you don't play as well. I don't feel any. When I'm out there, I feel good. I just see the ball and I hit it :GAC: *PRICELESS ANSWER!!!*

    Q: What is it that you've been told that you need to do to make the jump to the next level? What have the coaches and/or the F.O. told you?

    A: The F.O. told me that I need to work on my defense, with my throwing to 1st base...I have a little problem with that right now. They told me that hitting, I am ready to play in the big leagues, I just need to work on my defense this year.

    Q: When do you see yourself getting a chance at "The Show"? When do you think you'll be getting that chance? This year, September? Next year? The year following?

    A: September, I hope. (Laughing) Right now I hope , but whatever they want to do, they are going to do. I can't control it, but hopefully in September.

    Q: Does having Brandon Larson in Cincinnati worry you at all? Do you see yourself winning 3B from him?

    A: He is a good player. He (Larson) is very good. I don't know.

    Q: With the question marks at SS, with Larkin retiring, and no obvious heir apparent at SS (that's how I had it written...didn't quite say it that way ), so you see yourself moving to SS possibly?

    A: Yea, if they want, whatever they want.

    Q: What is the main difference in the pitchers you saw in ST and the pitchers here in Double-A?

    A: In ST, in the major leagues, all the pitchers, they are all around the strike zone. Here, in Double-A, some are here (raises his hand eye level), there (way wide, way low). Much better control in the major leagues.

    Q: Who are you closest to, here, on the team?

    A: Here? I got a couple guys: Jesse Gutierrez, Dionys Cesar, and (William) Bergolla.

    Q: What's your favorite drink? Your favorite adult beverage?

    A: No alcohol...orange juice...sometimes, a little bit Jonnie Walker Black Label.

    Q: What's your favorite meal your mom makes for you?

    A: Fried chicken and beans (big ole smile here...like he's picturing it in his head )

    Q: Favorite MLB player? Now or in the past?

    A: Right now, Albert Pujos...he's a monster...he's a good guy too! All time?....I like Babe Ruth.

    Q: When you were up in ST this season, was there anyone you were "star struck" by seeing or meeting? Anyone make you go, "WOW! There is xxxxxx!"

    A: Barry Larkin. Yea, Barry Larkin....(Smiling)

    Q: Other than Wins and Losses, what stat do you pay the most attention to (SABR guys listen up)?

    A: My OB....my OB...and everything.



    I then told him about the site (of course) and that he could see the write up of the interview on here...he seemed truly interested and I told him "thanks a ton" and nice meeting him, etc. He said the same :GAC:

    I stayed sitting on the bench for a few moments, watching the guys pitch behind me ( I am a pitcher for my MSBL team after all) and just trying to soak it all in, before Larry brought over William Bergolla.

    Have I mentioned how cool this was??? :GAC:
    :RedinDC: :rockon: :rock_band

  16. #15
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: THE! Lookouts Interviews (Long, but you knew that didn't you)

    Quote Originally Posted by SC Reds Fan
    Q: Other than Wins and Losses, what stat do you pay the most attention to (SABR guys listen up)?

    A: My OB....my OB...and everything.
    Man, does that answer make me happy.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

    I'm witchcrafting everybody.


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