Port St Lucie Spring Training 2013

INTERVIEW WITH JUSTIN TURNER

I have been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to interview several Major League Baseball Players over the last couple of years.  My  family began a quest in 2011 to visit all 30 ballparks and by the end of this summer they will have completed the trip with our last 8 stadiums out West.

The following is a Q&A that I conducted in last Spring Training in Port St Lucie with Mets utility infielder Justin Turner.  Like always, I asked Turner several questions that he was not accustomed to fielding from other reporters.  I am sure that is why he was so enthusiastic about the conversation.
So without further adieu, sit back, grab a favorite drink, and enjoy the dialogue between Justin Turner of the Mets and me.
Haley Smilow & Justin Turner

Only A Game w/Bill Littlefield

A New Addition To The MLB Press Corps: 12-Year-Old Haley Smilow

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12-year-old reporter Haley Smilow with Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera during MLB’s 2013 All-Star festivities at Citi Field in New York. (Courtesy of Marc Smilow)

Listen to my complete interview on “Only A Game w/Bill Littlefield” on NPR  WBUR 90.9

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Memories from Fenway Park

INTERVIEW WITH CODY ROSS

One of my favorite interviews was two days after my 11th Birthday.  We were in Boston and I had a chance to sit down with Cody Ross.  We talked 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.   As always I was not caught up in asking the Outfielder about his statics but more about his life in this candid interview.  Amongst other topics we discussed included:  What Cody does for charity work, what his favorite animal is…. Also who is the biggest practical joker in the MLB…and much much more.

Cody Ross Sox 1

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Macklemore Tribute to Dave Niehaus

Today my dad showed me a video from Macklemore that was a tribute to Dave Niehaus who was an announcer for the Seattle Mariners.  It was really cool to watch and see him rap about how much he loves baseball and the Mariners.  I wanted to share the video with everyone else that loves baseball.

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.

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World Series Champions Boston Red Sox

INTERVIEW WITH LEFTY SPECIALIST CRAIG BRESLOW

Craig Breslow is a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox.   He throws left-handed, and is considered a lefty specialist.  This year he has faced more right-handed hitters (98 plate appearances) than lefties (74) and actually has posted reverse splits (.225 vs. righties, .309 vs. lefties). Only one of each has taken him deep this season. With runners in scoring position, he has allowed just one extra-base hit in 43 plate appearances.  Breslow a graduate of Yale University was given the nickname “smartest man in baseball” by Minneapolis Star Tribune Twins writer La Velle E. Neal III.  Breslow helped lead the team and the bullpen deep into the playoffs and eventually the World Series.  I had the opportunity to sit down with Craig and ask him a couple of questions that weren’t all about statistics and more about his personal life.

Breslow 1

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Remembering Baseball’s African American Pioneers

This was an article I wrote for black history month for my SI Kids Reporters blog.   February is Black History month and this made me think about the impact that African-Americans have had on the sports world. One of the biggest impacts, in my opinion, was the Negro Leagues. In August 2011, I was lucky enough to go to Kansas City to see a Royals vs. Yankees game. What I did not know was the history of baseball in K.C. is more then just the Royals.

NLBM Picture 2

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Minors, Majors and Trades

Interview with Barry Enright

Barry Enright was drafted out of Pepperdine University by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the second round for the 2007 amateur draft.  The right-handed pitcher made his major league debut on June 30, 2010. He pitched five innings and earned the win that day against the St. Louis Cardinals.  Enright, 26, is in his second season with the Reno Aces, the Diamondbacks’ Triple-A affiliate. Enright was 9-5 with the Aces last season, and is 4-3 with 4.82 ERA (as of June 5, 2012) until he was traded to the Angels.

Barry Enright 2

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Refuse 2 Be Ignored – Eric Young Jr Interview

You might say Eric Young Jr. has baseball in his blood. Growing up he became acquainted with the game early by watching his father, Eric Young Sr., play for the Dodgers, Rockies, Blue Jays, and Cubs, among other teams. Eric Young Jr. (or EY2., as he is known) was a multi-sport athlete in high school, but ultimately decided to pursue baseball. He played one year of college ball at Chandler Gilbert Community College before following in his father’s footsteps and being drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 30th round of the 2003 draft. EY2 steadily worked his way through the minor leagues, posting solid batting averages at every level and catching the eyes of the Rockies’ front office, which resulted in his major league debut in 2009. In 158 career major league games EY2 has posted a line of .246/.324/.295 and spent time playing second base and patrolling the outfield. This year the 26-year old will again look to provide the Rockies with production off the bench.

i had a chance to chat with Eric Young Jr., and discovered his favorite foods, his go-to songs on his iPod, and what it means to him to share so many baseball memories with his father.

EYR Picture 4

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Just one of the guys at US Cellular

INTERVIEW WITH AJ PIERZYNSKI

A.J. Pierzynski sits down to discuss Chicago, Catching, Controversy, Cold Weather & the 2005 Championship

Playing in his 14th season in the major leagues the White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski is the guy other teams love to hate for his particular brand of competition, but they obviously like having him around on the South Side.  He is a 2x American League All-Star that played a vital role in the 2005 World Series Championship.

Despite his reputation of being Public Enemy No. 1, Pierzynski is only hungry to win.  This reputation only applies to his on field play but off the field A.J. is “not what people think.”

I had a chance to sit down with A.J. before a game and talk baseball, but discovered the White Sox catcher is one of the most genuine, honest and appreciative guys playing baseball today.  He is just a regular guy who likes to have fun and doesn’t like the cold weather.

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