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
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.