August 2007

One on One with Nats Felipe Lopez

What do think is your greatest strength as a player?Mchughlopez_14
I think that my speed is my greatest strength.  I can do a lot with my speed defensively and offensively.
What’s it like playing with Willie Mo Pena again?
I played with him before in Cincinnatti.  I enjoy playing with him.  He hits mostly home runs so that’s  always fun.
You played many positions.  Do you have a favorite?
My favorite position growing up was always  short stop, but you know, I’ll play anything.
What sports did you play growing up?
Other than baseball?  I played soccer, football, and basketball.  I think that’s about it.
How did you know that you wanted to play baseball?
It was in the family.  I grew up in it and I always loved it.
What is the wildest thing a fan has done to get your attention?
They make big signs or posters, nothing too crazy.

Whats your favorite heckle from fans?
There have been so many.  The always make fun of my butt or ask if I am related to J Lo or something like that.   That’s pretty funny.
Who is the funniest guy on the team?
Oh, we’ve got a lot of them.   There are a bunch of funny guys this year.  I can’t say there’s just one.
Do you have any funny stories that you can share?
We went into one of the coaches hotel room when we got in from the flight, and we hid in the closet and under the bed and we popped out and he got scared. 
Has anyone ever pulled a prank on you?Nats_lopez_1
Oh, yeah, every day.  Like yesterday, they hid my phone.  And that’s pretty important, your phone. 
What’s been the most embarrassing thing that has happened on the field?
My feet got stuck in my shoelace as I was trying to run and I fell on my face.  It was very embarrassing.

Boomer Don’t Go!

Boomer3a You have to admit, no matter what, David Wells brought something to baseball no other seemed to match – gumption.

After being released by the Padres, Wells, 44,Boomer2a  will have some difficult decisions to make over the next few days.

Every day I check the internet to see if he landed on another team, or decided to call it a day.

This search led me to a column by Tim Sullivan of the Union-Tribune in San Diego.  Mr. Sullivan spelled it out – time goes on, but look at what he’s done. I think at the very least he deserved to be recognized for his accomplishments in the game, and not just on recent performance. 

(http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/sullivan/20070809-9999-1s9sullivan.html)  It’s a great read btw.

I was only 6 years-old when Wells pitched his perfect game. How cool it would have been to be there.

Having spent most of his time in the AL while I was growing up, I never got to see him in person until two-weeks ago in Houston.  I was in complete awe. 

I have interviewed a lot of high profile major leaguers, and I was very excited when he was scheduled to pitch on this trip. I submitted my interview request and  I couldn’t wait to try and sit and talk with him.  Unfortunately, after the shaky outing, the interview didn’t happen.  I hope to get the opportunity to interview him one day, but of course, that would mean him not retiring, and then playing with a NL team that makes its rounds to Houston or close by. 

But don’t rule me out hoping on a plane if he signed with another team and the opportunity presented itself. (Right mom?  Hop on a plane? With a little – ok a lot – of nudging from me, who knows, she just might do it!  She’s one of Boomer’s biggest fans, and being a sports photographer, took about a million pictures of him when he was here. There will certainly be no shortage of David Wells photosBoomer4a  if anyone needs one. BTW, she taught me to love baseball early on, and I thank her for that. ) Boomer5a

If I could make the decision for Wells, I would say kick the mud off the shoes, saddle up and give it another go.  Go out your way – when you want – and show ‘em you still got game. 

But if he decides to retire, that’s ok too. He has nothing to hang his head over and we wish him the very best. 

Call me crazy, but…

I will be one of the millions sitting in front of my tv tonight watching Bonds make a run for the record.  Yes, I know there is controversy galore surrounding him, but you know, I have interviewed lots of major leaguers, and when asked who they thought the best player in the majors today is, a majoity said Bonds.

When he breezes through town, its fun to sit back and watch who he interacts with.  I believe when the players step on that field, they are all just happy to be there, and nothing else matters. 

So, I’ll be watching, online, and ready to chat with anyone else who has nothing better to do – or…….wants to watch history in the making. 

Do you have a question for a major league player?

It’s hard to believe we are already in August, and the season is winding down.  While a lot of good teams are in the running for the play-offs, it always gets exciting.

I will see the Cubs, Nats, Cards, Brew Crew, Pirates, and Atlanta making their rounds.  If you have any players you’d like to ask a question to, just shoot me an email at mlbkidz@yahoo.com or post it here.  We will do our best to get your question answered!

Tom Glavine – Mr. 300!

Congratulations to Tom Glavine, Glavine_2 who became the 23rd pitcher to  win 300 games.  He has been a real role model to young players coming up and those who hope to one day be just like him.  When I interviewed Tom, I was struck by not only how nice he was, but that he really took our interview seriously, and gave me the time I needed.  Thanks Tom! 

Tell me the best thing about playing baseball.

Well,  it’s fun, and the competition  of trying to get hitters out , and trying to be successful is the best.

Did you play any other sports besides baseball as a kid?

I played a little bit of everything, mostly baseball and hockey, but a little bit of soccer and basketball.

When did you begin playing baseball?Tom_glavin

I started play when I was seven years old in Little League.

What stadiums do you like to play in best and why?

I like to play in three.  Wrigley Field, Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium.  They are so rich in tradition and the history of all the great players that have played there.

What kind of music do you like?

Just about everything .  I like to listen to a little bit of everything.

Have you had any jobs besides baseball?

I worked in construction a little bit when I was in High School with my dad.  But that was it.

How do you feel about the strike zone?

I always wish it was bigger.  Pitchers always think it’s too small and hitters always think it’s too big, but I think as long as it’s consistent then it’s something everyone can work with and you find a way to be successful.

Do you have any hobbies?

I like to play golf and play around with my kids.

What’s the most embarrassing moment you’ve ever had?

I think there was one time in my first or second year in the league and I went up to bat and forgot to take the donut off the bat. 

What is one thing you don’t travel without?

My computer.  I like getting on there and checking things out, and e-mailing my friends and my family and my kids and stuff like that.

Who do you think is the best player in MLB?

The best player in baseball right now is probably Barry Bonds.  He is such a great hitter and really impacts the game more than anybody right now.

How would you complete the following sentence:  The thing most people find interesting about me is …

My dedication and determination.

Who influenced you most in life?

My mom and dad.  They were very supportive of me playing sports and they provided me with great lessons for my life.

What is the one thing that bugs you:

Long baseball games. 

If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be?

Probably be a little bit more outgoing and goofier.