Just wanted to pass this info along.
I was listening to the Dayton Dragon's Locker Room show (it's similar to the Red's Hot Stove Report that Chip always does recaps of). Anyway, the Dragons have a similar show on local radio every Wednesday and yesterday they spoke with Jay Bruce.
First of all, let me tell you, Jay Bruce is one of the nicest and most humble ball players I've ever heard. Just a great guy that is almost impossible to not like. Anyway among the key things I heard from him was that he said that he has been working out in Texas for a little more than 7-8 weeks now and said that he works out with Adam Dunn almost everyday. He said that lifting with Adam Dunn is sometimes difficult to do because Adam is so naturally strong that its almost intimidating for him to do it. Let me just say that Jay Bruce is not a little kid or anything. I think he's like 6'3", 215 or so. He said that Adam can just flat out make people look stupid sometimes in the weight room. He's just naturally strong and there's no other way to say it. "Some people are just born strong, and he, obviously, is just one of those people," Bruce said. The second thing that jumped out to me was this: The interviewer asked Bruce if he was happy with his stats last year. Bruce said that he doesn't have number goals for seasons, per se, but he has levels that he'd like to get to throughout the season (he didn't define them). He said that overall he was fine with the numbers he had, but two areas he thought he needed improvement were his BB/K rate and his avg vs LHP's. He said that he didn't think his BB/K rate from last year was acceptable. (He finished the season with 106K / 44BB). He said that he shouldn't be striking out 106 times a year and he should be more patient and walk more. He said that was one stat he was looking to improve in 2007 and would consciously work on. He said that if he made that stat better, and more to his own liking, he thought the rest of his stats would get better as a result. He said that he started last season batting about .100 vs LHP's through the first month of the season. He ended the season with a .236 avg vs LHP's. He said that he improved quite a bit in the second half, and that was something he was happy about, but said that he's going to try and do better from beginning to end this season. He thought one of the problems with that was that he didn't face much LHP in high school. He said that facing LHP's was somewhat of a new experience for him and he kind of psyched himself out a little at the beginning of the season, telling himself he couldn't be successful because of his inexperience. He said that at one point in the season he was talking to Alonzo Powell (Dayton's hitting instructor) and told him that he was just going to take the same approach to hitting LHP's that he did in facing RHP's. He said from then on, he started hitting LHP's a little better and that mindset of "I can't hit well vs LHP's" kind of started to disappear and as a result the numbers started to look better. He said that one of his goals this year was to hit RHP's and LHP's at about the same clip.
The interviewer also told him that Dayton was planning on having a Jay Bruce bobblehead in 2007 and asked him about that. He said that some players don't like their bobbleheads because they say it doesn't look like them. Jay said "How cool is that? I'm going to have a bobblehead!" He just couldn't calm down after that. He said that he didn't care if it looked like him or not, if it had his name on it, he'll know that the intention was to make a bobblehead of him and that's all that matters. He really was excited about the bobblehead and said that it was one of the coolest things he could imagine.
They asked him about his timetable, saying they thought he'd be up full time in 2009 and wanted to know what the Red's had told him. Jay said "I wish I was in Cincinnati now. I wish I could play on the big league team this season. Obviously, that's not going to happen, but that's what I'd like. As far as a timetable? it depends on who you listen to...I've heard several different things from different people. I'm just going to go out and play as hard as I can. The Reds have taken care of me so far, so I'm just going to play hard and leave it up to them. If I do what I'm capable of, that stuff will take care of itself and I'll make it there." He said that he's enjoyed his offseason, but as soon as Christmas was over he was kind of getting ancy to get to Spring Training and get back to playing ball.
All of the above was just a recap, there was other stuff they covered, but I really enjoyed the interview. As I said, Jay was one of the nicest, most humble players I've ever heard interviewed and I don't see any reason why anyone would NOT pull for him to succeed.