Greg Dobbs rounding the bases
InsidethePark.com welcomed in Greg Dobbs for a hour-long chat Thursday night. Dobbs spent the final month of the 2004 season with the Mariners and had some interesting stuff to say regarding his future. Check it out, right here, only at InsidethePark.com.
Max: Your first home run, did you know it was gone when you hit it?
Dobbs: I knew I hit it well, I just didn't know if it had enough to get out of the yard.
Jason A. Churchill: How do you feel about playing the outfield again if it comes to that?
Dobbs: I feel fine. I started my career in the outfield and if that's what I have to play to stay in the big leagues then so be it. I am very comfortable in the outfield.
MegaManflx: What got you into baseball in the beginning?
Dobbs: Partly my parents, and partly me having an interest I guess. My parents let me play any sport I wanted and I gravitated to baseball.
David J. Corcoran: In your second at bat in the bigs, what was it like to step up to the plate? Everyone always asks about the first but we know what happened. Did you feel and extra pressure in the second?
Dobbs: No, everyone in the clubhouse told me that it was going to be all downhill from the first one!!! (Laughs) All I know is I made SportsCenter top ten in my first at bat so anything after that was a bonus to me.
Garstar: Where did you grow up and what was your favorite team?
Dobbs: I grew up in Southern California and my favorite team growing up was the Dodgers. I went to a lot of Dodgers games.
JKaiser: What did you remember most about Chavez Ravine (Dodger Stadium) as a child?
Dobbs: The Dodger Dogs of course!!!! No, I remember watching Fernando Valenzuela pitch a no-hitter. It was awesome.
MegaManflx: Were you really nervous the first time a ball was hit to you?
Dobbs: I was nervous before the ball was hit - the anticipation was killing me - but once I made the play everything was fine. I had to get that first one out of the way.
Ty: What was running through your mind when you saw your first hit leaving the yard?
Dobbs: To stay on my feet as I rounded the bases!!! My legs were weak and my heart was pounding and the crowd was deafening.
David J. Corcoran: Do you believe you have a good chance of making the opening day roster as the M's have very little in terms of lefty bench prowess?
Dobbs: I want to say yes... I am going to go into spring training and work my butt off! I will do whatever it takes to make the club!
Camille: I have read that you were drafted by the M’s in 1996 but opted to stay in school. How do you feel about that decision now?
Dobbs: I feel fine, what a twist of fate!! I guess it was meant to be. Out of high school, I was not ready to go into pro ball so I opted to go to college and develop further.
Max: Who is the funniest guy, that you haven't played in the minors with, in the M's clubhouse?
Dobbs: Good question. Boone is funny, always cracking jokes. Edgar always said things that made people laugh even though he didn’t mean to.
Ty: Did you get a chance to talk to any veterans like Edgar Martinez? What did they say to you?
Dobbs: Yes I did. Edgar gave me great advice. My locker was next to Boony's so he and I got to talk a lot after every game. Edgar told me to keep doing what I was doing and to not change my swing. He said that I would be successful at the big league level. Very kind words from the greatest DH to play the game.
David J. Corcoran: What was the most difficult moment of your pro career to date?
Dobbs: The most difficult moment was two years ago when I ruptured my Achilles in the second game of the season. I can't quite explain the feeling but that year was the longest by far.
Dave Clark: How do you find relating to the international players that you play with?
Dobbs: I enjoy them very much. It gives me a chance to learn something new about their work habits. I speak Spanish fluently so I can talk with all the Latin players, which helps a lot!!
Max: Who is the toughest pitcher you've faced?
Dobbs: The toughest pitcher I’ve faced is probably Dotel from Oakland... his fastball disappears!!! I owe him big time!!
Ty: What player did you look up to when you were growing up and why?
Dobbs: I looked up to Will Clark and Brian Downing, both were great hitters. Will had the sweetest swing in baseball
MegaManflx: How excited are you to be playing with the club now that the front office has shown some resolve?
Dobbs: Very excited, this next year is going to be very exciting for us and the fans!!! I want to be a part of it really bad!!
JKaiser: I know your parents made it out to Seattle to take in your first major league experience. What did they tell you about their impressions of seeing their son play as a major leaguer?
Dobbs: They did and I thank God for that!!! They are great people and they had a wonderful time in Seattle. More than anything they were very proud of me.
Ty: Were you disappointed about the signing of Beltre? What emotions went through your head?
Dobbs: A tad disappointed, but that's the business. You can't refute the numbers he put up last year!!! The guy is a stud and if that means I have to play another position to help the big club then so be it!
Jason A. Churchill – What’s life like as a minor leaguer? How tough? How fun?
Dobbs: Minor league baseball is tough and fun at the same time. The travel is harder, but at the same time it's still the same game! I have had a great experience in the minor leagues with Seattle. I have met and played with a lot of great guys and played under some great coaches.
Jason A. Churchill: Who is one of the most interesting characters (think Bull Durham) you've played with in the minors?
Dobbs: Bucky Jacobsen or Mickey Lopez... both of them are characters!!
David J. Corcoran: Who has helped you the most to get to the bigs?
Dobbs: There have been a few that I would put in that category!! Mike Goff, Terry Pollreisz, Mike Stubbins, Dave Brundage and my wife.
Ty: Do you have any best friends in the organization? If so, who are they?
Dobbs: Willie Bloomquist, Ryan Christianson, Mickey Lopez and probably big Bucky.
Max: What did you learn from former Mariners’ batting coach, Paul Molitor?
Dobbs: I learned a great deal about patterns of pitchers and pitch sequences. And how to come up with a game plan against the starting pitcher.
Shiggy: How does it feel to compete with your friends for jobs on the big league team?
Dobbs: It is something you have to separate, in my opinion. While I like the guys I am competing against, we are all in the same boat.
Garstar (all the way from Aichi, Japan): What's your favorite ballpark to play in?
Dobbs: Has to be Safeco, the park is unbelievable.
Ty: How long do you practice per day during the offseason?
Dobbs: Total of 3-4 hours. That includes hitting, fielding, lifting and running.
David J Corcoran: If you go to Tacoma, you will probably be fighting for playing time with Leone. How do you see that panning out?
Dobbs: I will probably split time with him at third and play first and the outfield the rest of the time. Hey, as long as I am playing and contributing that's all I care about. Doesn’t matter what position.
JKaiser: What improvements have you made in your game since joining the organization?
Dobbs: My defense continues to get better every year and my knowledge of the game builds as well.
Jason A. Churchill: As a hitter, facing a lefthander, how do you approach it differently? Are you looking for certain pitches?
Dobbs: I try to stay closed as long as possible and take them the other way. I look for fastballs when I have count leverage. When I am behind in the count I look for their best pitch, their out pitch. Mainly I just want to get a good pitch to hit.
John: When you get in to the batter's box at Safeco, do you close out everything other than the pitcher?
Dobbs: Yes, all I can see is the emblem on his hat. That is what I focus on, then release point.
JKaiser: What is your top baseball memory to this point if you take away the first MLB homer?
Dobbs: Winning the AA championship my first year in San Antonio. I will remember that for the rest of my life... the guys on that team were the best I have ever been around.
Shiggy: Have you had the opportunity to see Felix Hernandez pitch?
Dobbs: No, unfortunately, but I hear the kid can bring it!!!
Jere: Greg...are you married? If so, how has playing professional baseball affected your marriage. If you are NOT married then what have you learned about keeping a family together from other players?
Dobbs: I am married and the baseball life can be tough at times, but my wife has done an unbelievable job at it.
JKaiser: How excited are you to head to Peoria and get things started again?
Dobbs: Very excited. I am excited to meet my new teammates and my new coaches! It is going to be a lot of fun this year. I think we are going to win a few more games also!?
JKaiser: When exactly are you heading down or over or whatever?
Dobbs: I am going to head over to Peoria next week. Spring training is always a lot of fun. You get to see and feel what the team is going to be like, the anticipation is great.
Jason A. Churchill: What's your favorite baseball movie?
Dobbs: Bull Durham or Field of Dreams
JKaiser: Well, I guess that's a wrap. Big thanks to Greg Dobbs for being a champ and coming in for over an hour.
Dobbs: Thanks guys. I had a great time talking with all of you! You guys are the best fans out there. Don't change.