MLB.com / Toronto Blue Jays Cut 4
INTERVIEW WITH CASEY JANSSEN
This was an interview that I did with Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Casey Janssen. It ended up being aired on MLB.com / Cut 4. It was really cool because this time I met Casey at the hotel when the Blue Jays were playing the Yankees in New York. This was different from some of my other interviews because I got to see how the team travelled.
Check out the full interview by clicking on the MORE button.
Casey Janssen has spent his summers north of the border for the last seven years with the Toronto Blue Jays. Janseen was born in Orange, California and played college baseball at the University of California, Los Angeles. He was selected by the Blue Jays out of UCLA in the fourth round of the 2004 draft. I had the opportunity to sit with Casey and talk about his favorite Ball Parks to play in, who he doesn’t like to face, what he does for pre and post game rituals and what he does on the road. I pulled no punches in asking about his life in this candid interview. Other topics we discussed were: What he does for charity work, what his favorite animal is…. Also whether or not he has forgotten his passport ever when going through International Customs and his favorite sports teams. Find out what Casey answered as I put him in the hot seat.
CASEY: Seattle Safeco Field is one of my favorites. I like the design and how it maintains its newness. Also, it has a retractable roof, so you can play in all weather conditions.
HALEY: Is there ballpark you feel you play well in?
CASEY: I feel like I play very well at Rogers Center because it’s my home ballpark and I know it so well. I also like to play in my hometown of Anaheim because my family and friends can come and see me play, but that also adds a lot of pressure!
HALEY: Do you prefer when the roof at Rogers Center is open or closed?
CASEY: I prefer closed because I don’t have to contend with the outside environment such as wind and rain.
HALEY: What brand of gear do you use?
CASEY: Mizuno Baseball Glove, Nike Shoes.
HALEY: Do the Blue Jays have any hazing rituals for rookie pitchers?
CASEY: Not for pitchers, but in September we make all the rookies dress in some ridicules outfit to remind them that they are still rookies and need to be humble.
HALEY: What is your favorite restaurant in Toronto?
CASEY: Jacob’s Steakhouse on Brant Street. They have really good steaks!!
HALEY: Which current MLB star do you most admire and why?
CASEY: Miguel Cabrera because he is a probably the best player in the league right now and a tough out.
HALEY: Is there a player you really don’t like to face?
CASEY: No not really. I may occasionally struggle against a player, but no one really scares me.
HALEY: What do you do for fun when you are not playing baseball?
CASEY: I love to spend time with my dog. I miss him during the season. I also love to go to the beach.
HALEY: What type of dog do you have?
CASEY: A Yellow Lab that looks just like Marley in “Marley and Me”.
HALEY: How often do you go to the beach?
CASEY: When I am in California, I try and go often but I haven’t been in a while.
HALEY: How about in Toronto?
CASEY: It’s all concrete. There is a small beach, but I’ve not been there this season.
HALEY: You’re playing in your 7th season as professional baseball player. What is life like playing ball as your job? Is there anything bad about being a professional player?
CASEY: It is more than I could have ever dreamed. The time has been flying by since I have been in the majors. It’s not a job, it’s just a wonderful thing that I get to do. I feel blessed to be playing professional baseball. If there is anything bad about it, I haven’t found it yet. It’s the best job in the world.
HALEY: Funniest prank you ever saw in a clubhouse?
CASEY: Someone took the cream out of Oreo’s and replaced it with toothpaste. Then they put the Oreo’s out for everyone to eat.
HALEY: Have you ever been pranked?
CASEY: Yes. Someone put eye black around the rim of my cap, so when I took it off I had a black line around my forehead.
HALEY: What is your favorite tourist thing to do in Toronto?
CASEY: Shop and eat.
HALEY: Have you ever forgotten your passport traveling back and forth between USA and Canada?
CASEY: My passport is my life, so no. But some of my teammates have forgotten theirs, which is a big headache at customs and it holds up the whole team.
HALEY: I know your favorite professional football team is The Raiders, who is your all time favorite Raiders player?
CASEY: Tim Brown, a wide receiver. He seemed to always be in a Raider’s uniform for as long as I can remember.
HALEY: What type of community service and charity work are you involved in?
CASEY: The Jays Care Foundation. We try and create opportunities for children and youth in need by providing access to programs that promote regular physical activity, encourage the pursuit of higher education and impart fundamental life skills. This is done in Toronto area schools, and I also get involved in different camps and teach/share my love of baseball.
HALEY: How old where you when you started playing baseball?
CASEY: I started plying T- Ball at 5, but my mother started playing wiffle ball with me at age 3.
HALEY: What age did you figure out you might have the chance a going pro?
CASEY: During my sophomore year in college when the scouts started showing up a games
HALEY: Favorite Kids Movie?
CASEY: I need to check back with you on that
HALEY: Favorite Baseball Movie?
CASEY: Major League
HALEY: Favorite kids book?
CASEY: Curious George
HALEY: Favorite thing to Cook?
CASEY: Chicken or Steak on the BBQ.
HALEY: What advice would you give kids my age?
CASEY: Follow your dreams, have fun, and work hard chasing your dream.