Touchdown in Arizona…or is it Home Run?February 28, 2012
We landed in Phoenix around 10:45 and got out to Maryvale Baseball Park on the west side of town by about 11:30. By the time we unpacked our gear and got our media passes, it was too late to see any workouts, so we just headed to the clubhouse.
I spoke with first baseman Mat Gamel first. Never the best interview, it’s hard to tell what’s going on in his mind, but obviously there’s a lot of pressure there. He feels confident that if he can get his 3-4 at bats per game, then he can contribute like he did in the minor leagues (a career .304 hitter, 105 HRs in 7 seasons). He’s only put together a .222 average in the bigs, but I actually believe him when he says that he can have a good, productive season if he just stays healthy.
We were running out of time and one of the only other players left was Logan Schaefer, a reserve outfielder that will likely start the season in AAA. He was probably in line to be the 5th outfielder if not for the acquisition of Nori Aoki, but instead, he is likely Nashville bound. The 25 year old didn’t really mention any key phrases like “It’s still my goal to get to Milwaukee” or “I’m going to do everything I can to get there.” Instead, I got a lot of “I have to control what I can control” and “I’m not involved in the management decisions.” That’s not a knock on his confidence or attitude, I just think it says that he knows there are quite a few roadblocks on his path to the Brewers, and a lot of them are multi-year players, some of them All-Stars.
That’s all we had time for today, but we’re excited to talk to a lot of guys tomorrow. Look for a report from AZ on the Sports32 Roundtable on Wednesday, but the main place to find our coverage from Maryvale will be on Sports32 Weekly. We’ll be airing 2-3 features per episode leading up to the Home Opener, which is now only about a month away!
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