Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Interview With Brent Mayne (Part Two)

With the first part of the interview complete and the audio now live and ready for download, I finally completed the second part of the interview that I conducted with MLB catcher Brent Mayne. Enjoy the interview!

To read part one of the Brent Mayne interview, click here.

To listen to the audio, click here.

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Jorge Says No!: This is something that I've always felt was kind of interesting just having watched Oliver Perez pitch for a couple years. What's it like to be behind the plate and watch a pitcher implode on the mound?

Brent Mayne: It happens, you know. What's it like? Its not fun. As a catcher, you always take whatever the pitcher does and whatever happens defensively is...you knjow, if you're going to accept responsibility when things go great and a guy throws a no hitter and you're going to say that you had a part of that, then you have to take the bad too.

You never want to see a pitcher do bad, whether he's struggling to find the zone or if he's mentally lost it...like I said, you kind of have to be a junior psychologist out there and figure out when to pat guys on the butt, which guys like to be patted on the butt, which guys need to be kicked in the ass, and what guys need to be left alone. So a lot of that you take personally and if they struggle and can't figure out, then you take that personally and try to help them.

It's a hard thing to watch a be apart of, but with that said, this is baseball, a game of failure, that's challenging on a whole bunch of different levels for everybody.

Jorge Says No!: In your opinion, how has the catching position evolved over the past 10 to 20 years?

Brent Mayne: Not a whole damn lot. It seems to me to be a pretty stagnant thing. You know it's definitely gotten more athletic as catchers even watch a Yankee Classic game and watch Thurman Munson play in the mid 70s and it's light years from there.

Just as far as how hard pitchers throw, glove mechanics that need to adapt to that; but has there been any major hurdles cross or any major mechanical thing that has happened, no there hasn't. And if you read my book or take a lesson from me, you'll make a jump-a quantum leap-from that 1970's Johnny Bench style catching to what works now.

But the position has kinda of gone by the way side. You know, you put the gear on a certain kid and shove him out there and go.

Jorge Says No!: And for you personally, do you want to get back to minor league level coaching or major league level coaching?

Brent Mayne:
No, not really. To be honest with you, I'm 41 years old, but like a lot of 41 year olds out there, I feel like I'm 25. When I retired, it wasn't because I got released or something like that. To answer your question, I feel like I can still play. And if I could be involved in major league baseball in any way, I'd just be a player. In my opinion, there's only a few really good jobs in professional baseball and that's to be either a player or an owner.

So the reason I retired was because of family, all the travel, and all the peripheral stuff; it just wasn't worth the money I was getting paid.

So no, at this point I'm not interested in doing something like that, but if the Angels or something are going to offer me a contract to play just home games....

Jorge Says No!: Was it difficult to keep your body fit and healthy when playing such a demanding position? The baseball season seems to be a grind as is...

Brent Mayne: It's a very difficult position to play. Every position is tough, but when you take into account putting on all the gear and squatting down, it's alot. Being a catcher is very difficult and demanding physical position. So yes, it was very difficult. No matter what position you're playing in baseball, you need to take care of your body and figure out how much sleep you need, and take care of business in the weight room, and on the yoga mat if that's what your into. Whatever it is you need to figure out how to stay out of the training room and put your act out on the field everyday. That's part of the challenge.

Jorge Says No!: I know that you we're a first round draft pick. How did that feel? Was it a lot of pressure? Excitement? Or a combination of both?

Brent Mayne: Both. It was definitely both. I was excited because I was going to make more money than I ever did in my life, which wasn't a lot at that time considering what kids are making now. It felt like a lot at the time so that was exciting.

But also with it came a whole bunch of expectations that I needed to deal with. It wasn't the first thing of major expectations I had ever dealt with, but it was a big one.

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I encourage everyone to take a listen to the audio to hear Brent talk about the inning he pitched....he even got the win (20 min mark)!

A big thank you goes out to Brent Mayne for conducting the interview with me. Not only was this interview very informative, but it actually made me much more interested in the little intricacies of catching. I encourage everyone to check out Brent's website http://www.brentmayne.com/ and buy his book The Art of Catching.

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