Friday, August 31, 2007

Other interesting quotes from the Gulf Coast League story

The Dugout has been a bit lax in updating this blog. Please accept all apologies. The start of football season spreads most reporters thinly, especially in Florida where there is high school, college and NFL.

On the minor league baseball front, this weekend marks the end of the regular season in most leagues. The Gulf Coast League is well into its playoffs – the champion may be crowned tonight.

We’ll have a complete look at the playoffs in the coming days. For now, wanted to share some of the quotes about the Gulf Coast League that didn’t make the story. Enjoy.

GCL Marlins third baseman Matt Dominguez:
There is a nice breeze today. They say it is going to get worse. It will get a lot worse if there is no breeze. It’s pretty humid.

GCL Cardinals pitcher Zach Russell:
You come out here thinking its going to be what you see on TV – and its not.

GCL Cardinals pitcher Deryk Hooker:
The next level, it should be more fun. Here, you just have to pay your dues.

GCL Mets pitcher Nathan Hedrick on having family visit for the game:
It’s a blast. It’s something comfortable. Being out here the whole time, you kind of get homesick. They bring a little piece of home to you. It’s something that kind of revives you to get you through the rest of the season.

GCL Cardinals manager Enrique Brito, on being a Latin-born manager:
If you have a manger that comes from those places, it makes it easier for the players to understand American baseball.

Florida Marlins pitcher Scott Olsen on his GCL memories
You are up at six or seven every morning at the field. You eat the same breakfast everyday. You have a workout for like two hours in the morning in the sun, go inside and eat the same lunch, go back out high noon play a game in the heat with no shade - sitting there doing nothing if you are not pitching. You are bored out of your mind.

You go from being 17-18 playing with fans, playing with people you know back home, playing night games and all that good stuff with people around you. And you get to the Gulf Coast and it’s 95 degrees at 12 noon and there ain’t nobody around but you and the other players. It sucks.

Cleveland Indians first baseman Travis Hafner:
I actually loved it. I remember coming out of college and we played baseball every day. After two weeks of games they gave us a pay check. I was almost like, Wow, they pay us to do this. I thought it was the greatest thing ever.

St. Louis vice president of amateur scouting and player procurement Jeff Luhnow, on why the Cardinals return to the GCL is good for Latin players:
Our experience has been that sending them straight to the Appalachian League is a really tough jump and this was a perfect intermediate step between where they are and Johnson City.

GCL Marlins catcher Brett Lawler on teammates who have cars:
“Those are the golden boys. Make sure you get friends with them because they can take you to Wal*Mart if you need them. If you want to go out, those are the people you want to call.

Lawler on communicating with teammates:
There are many different cultures and many different people coming together trying to figure out how to play this same game. Having to communicate on the field, you figure out how to speak Spanish in different ways or speak whatever you need to so that they understand you.

GCL Marlins manager Tim Cossins:
Managing is a term that you have to put at the front of it, but in my opinion you have to take it beyond just playing the game. You can’t focus solely on that because there is so much more going on at this point of development that you have to focus on. You want to mature them on the field but you also want to mature them off, and in the clubhouse because that is a big part of this.

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