Well, I have some bad news for my readers in regards to myself; I will not be headed out to extended spring training on schedule. As was reported about Jimmy Shull on this site last week, I, too, will be headed out in the near future to camp rather than going out there right now.
What does this mean for you guys? Now you can read about my thoughts on American Idol’s Sanjaya Malakar…
I’m just kidding about that, but I did try to vote for him, as did many viewers, as a joke. So in lieu of hearing about American Idol, you can send me more emails so I can answer some more questions.
Once again thanks for all the emails from my fans and friends. The answer to the last riddle was that she was taking a picture, not actually “shooting” him.
Here is a question I received last week:
Is time spent teaching young players about being in the public eye because there are undoubtedly many situations which players must avoid or handle tactfully? What steps are taken to prepare young players for unexpected and potentially career-damaging events?
Charlie, Petaluma, CA
At the University of Florida, the Athletic Association took the incoming freshman and transfer athletes through various seminars and classes to teach them how to act professionally. Because we are in the public and national eye all of the time, the school stresses teaching how to deal with being a public figure. These sessions taught us how to deal with the media and how to speak properly. It also included the difference between “on the record “and “off the record” interviews.
Many athletes at these institutions are looked at by classmates, fans and higher authorities as role models so they must always act properly. Warnings about drugs and alcohol were a part of the lessons. That subject was a no brainer, especially because of the random drug tests through the college and the NCAA. For the most part, these classes were stepping stones to teach the newcomers how to be student-athletes.
High school players who are draft eligible usually have to take psychological tests from teams prior to the draft. This is one of the ways a scout can see what kind of player a prospect is mentally. The high school players I have been around while I have been with Oakland have been very mature. Most of them have come from a baseball background, whether it is a relative or parent who had played previously. This usually helps the player become more prepared for playing pro ball.
In my first season in Vancouver, the coaching staff had the role of teaching the players the proper way to be a professional athlete and how to play the game. Our staff, which included Craig Lefferts and Todd Steverson who both played professionally, helped players act like a professional on and off the field and how to deal with fans.
Interaction with the fans has always been one of my favorite parts of the game, because I used to be in the same spot a couple of years ago. I love learning something new everyday from a fan or have them pick my brain. We, as professionals, need to make proper decisions and be professional on and off the field. It is a joke to me to see these NFL and NBA guys, for the most part, doing such asinine things like shooting guns in the air, hitting women or getting DUI’s.
Well I’m off to my throwing session now. Congratulations to Travis Buck and Jared Burton (both were teammates of mine) for making their big league clubs. Now I have to pick them up on my fantasy team.
Here goes this week’s baseball trivia. What are the seven ways to get on first base without getting a hit?
If you have questions or new riddles for Scot Drucker, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.