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Newark Bears Fan Speaks with Septemberís Fan Club Player of the Month, Ryan Minor!

Newark Bears Fan spoke with Ryan Minor, the Newark Bears Fan Club Player of the Month for September 2003.

 

Newark Bears Fan:  We want to congratulate you on winning the September player of the month trophy from the fan club!

Ryan Minor:  Thank you very much, I appreciate it.  Itís a good honor.  I havenít been here that long but Iíve been able to hang around the guys enough to be able to enjoy this award, and Iím very appreciative of it.

There are a lot of people here who remember you from last year and we were very happy when you came back in AugustÖ.

Yeah, it was toward the middle [of the month].  I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to come back and play, and Iíve enjoyed my time here, as I did last year.  The seasonís winding down and I didnít play here very long, but if it all came down to it and I had the opportunity to come back, Iíd do it again.

Youíve played baseball in many different environments:  youíve been in the affiliated minors, you played in the majors for a while, and youíve been here two years now.  How is the independent league different from the affiliated minors or the major league?  What kind of differences are there?

Well, the main difference is thereís nobody to answer to as far as player development guys, or organizations -- thereís nobody that tells you that you have to be doing this [or that].  This is a league where you have to get yourself ready to play and go out there and put up some numbers to try to get out of this league.  The only way to do that is to prepare yourself.  So that teaches a lot of these younger guys how to prepare themselves -- and if they donít, then theyíre not going to last here very long.  Thatís one of the things that Iíve noticed in the short time Iíve been in the independent league.  Also, Itís a very competitive league pitching-wise.  Itís amazing some of the names you see in the league -- after playing against them all your life and then coming here, thereís a lot of guys youíve played against.  Itís hopefully a stepping stone back into organized ball, and weíll see what happens from there.

Weíve heard from some other people weíve talked to that the atmosphere in this league is a little more relaxed, that the pressure isnít as high.  Would you agree with that?

No doubt [about that] because of the fact that every night when youíre with an organized team, you have to go out and you have to do the things that they drill you to do.  Here you do the stuff that you need to do to get yourself better.  There you have to do structured stuff, like the organization wants you to hit a certain way, wants you to pitch a certain way.  Here youíre on your own to try to get yourself back into organized ball.  But it is relaxed, it is a fun environment to play in because Ö the only pressure put on yourself is what you put on yourself.  The main thing is to go out there and to play hard and do the things that you know you need to do to get ready for the game [and] you should be alright.

You had an adventure earlier this year:  we know you were being trained as a pitcher.  Can you tell us how that came about, why did that come about, and what did you find interesting or enjoyable about that experience?

When I was with the Dodgers in spring training, they signed some guys late, and that gave them the opportunity to send some guys down in the pecking order.  And since I was a free agent, the easiest thing for them to do is get rid of the free agents that they signed because theyíre not under contract for more than that year.  So that gave them the opportunity to sign some guys at the big league level and ship some guys down.  But, they came to me with the opportunity of pitching because thatís what they scouted me as -- a pitcher out of college.  Instead of going home and waiting for a job somewhere, I thought Iíd jump on the opportunity to try to do that and see where it took me.  I didnít think it would last as long as it did, but it was fun, it was a great opportunity to do that.  Not too many people get the opportunity to try two positions.

You played basketball in college, too.  You were drafted by the 76ers, is that right?

Yes, that was in 1996.

From your experiences in professional baseball and professional basketball, whatís similar and whatís different about the organization of those sports, and the coverage and interest level?

The main thing in professional basketball is thereís not really that many minor leagues -- thereís not a minor league system for each team.  So basketballís coverage is going to be a lot better because of the fact that thereís only a certain amount of players who can play in the NBA every year.  Whereas in baseball, you have so many different levels and so many different organizations to pick and choose from to watch games.  On the other aspect, basketball is so much faster than baseball -- baseball, to me, is a little bit slower paced --  you really have to keep your mind into it, itís more of a mental thing than actually a physical thing.  You really have to keep your mind into it and stay prepared every day, whereas in basketball, youíre out there for two hours and thatís it.  The next day you go right back out and practice, but itís not like you have a game every night -- youíre going to have one every two, three nights -- itís never 162 games.  [Basketball is] so much faster, youíre into the game the whole time, whereas in baseball, you come over here [the dugout] and sit down for an hour before you hit again!  It took me a while to adjust to that.

What do you have on for the off season?

Not much right now.  Hopefully Iíll get a winter ball job and go over and play somewhere overseas.  But if not, stay home, take care of my wife and work around the house.  Get ready for next season and see where it takes me.

Newark Bears Fan thanks The Newark Bears Professional Baseball Club, Inc. for facilitating access to Mr. Minor for this interview.

Reprints of this interview are available from Newark Bears Fan Click here to request one.

 

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