Monday, March 01, 2010
Drew Storen--The Quote Machine
He's talented, personable and even while attending his very first Spring Training for Our Washington Nationals (as a non-roster invitee), Drew Storen stops to chat with every single fan asking for an autograph or wanting to take a picture after practice. His maturity level is well beyond his 22 years of age. Drew definitely has that makeup which Our General Manager Mike Rizzo is so high on.
Early this afternoon, The African Queen and I were chatting with some other players at Space Coast Stadium's Minor League Complex when Drew Storen noticed the conversation and headed over to say hello and join in. Together, we ended up talking for a few minutes about his first Big League Camp.
The Quote Machine was as good as ever.
Well, what has this first camp been like? (Nats320)
"The routine has been the biggest adjustment for me. Up until this very point in my life, most every baseball activity has taken place in the afternoon or evening. It’s just the opposite now. Go to bed early, to get up early, to be in the clubhouse and be ready to head out on the field by 9:30AM. That’s all been pretty strange. But, I am beginning to get use to it."
What about on the field? (Nats320)
"I am still excited to be here participating in Big League Camp. Let me give you a good example why. I was on the field today getting my work in and it just dawned on me--this is not fantasy camp. This is business. A fun business, mind you to be in, but not a time for joking around. To see Pudge Rodriguez go about his work every morning and see him work as hard as anyone in camp--that’s really set the tone for me. He's made his name, but he's still working hard. The fact that I am on the same field with Pudge (says Wow!! silently)!! It’s clear to me that it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in the game--you can’t take anything for granted. That's the first lesson I've learned."
(You have got to love the child enthusiasm he still maintains--it's very endearing)
As wonderful as that may all be, your chance of making the team is still probably slim? (Nats320)
"Rizz & Riggs sat both myself and Stephen (Strasburg) down before camp began and told us not to worry about making the team. That stuff will all work itself out they said. And you know what, that’s really relaxed me. I am very comfortable with them telling me that. I don’t feel any pressure at all. I am completely at home participating and learning from this experience. It won’t bother me to not make the team. I am just happy to be able to put this jersey on every morning right now. I am really serious (pulling up the Curly "W" on his practice jersey). And to be on the same practice fields with Pudge Rodriguez and Adam Dunn. Seeing them has really been an eye opener as to how much harder I must work to become a major league pitcher. There are no guarantees here. It's up to me to make the most this opportunity. And I am OK with that."
Yeah, but there is that business side to any decision involving both you and Strasburg remaining in the minor leagues to start the season? (Nats320)
“That’s the new part of the game that takes adjusting to for me. But it's also a part of the whole experience. The need to separate the playing of the game from the business aspects. My time is going to come. Why rush this? If I start in the minor leagues, I am fine with that. I really am."
That all being said--where do things stand with your training? (Nats320)
"I learned you really have to put your work in here. There are no corners to cut. I been throwing every other day. Today, I threw a BP (batting practice). I thought it went well. But this is all the beginning. There's a good six weeks until the season starts for me--wherever that may be--so it's more pacing right now than anything."
I was curious to know--since you are here, are you still throwing long toss every day--as you mentioned to us last month during the Winter Caravan? (Nats320)
"No, they (The Team) have asked to me cut back on my daily long toss throwing for now. So I am not doing that as much anymore. That's OK, I understand they have a pitching program for me and I'm following it."
But it's safe to say--you are having fun? (Nats320)
"It's a blast to be in Major League Camp and wearing a Big League Uniform each day. I really mean that. I wake up every morning still realizing how fortunate I am."
With that final answer, Drew Storen--The Quote Machine, headed off for yet another conversation. This time with Justin Maxwell, Craig Stammen, Chris Marrero & Mike Daniel. Five professional baseball players just shooting the breeze and telling stories--building that camaraderie that comes from sharing the passion for a sport. If only more young people could carry themselves as well as Our Number 58. Drew Storen is just a total pleasure to meet and chat with in person.
Drew Storen Photos Copyrighted--Nats320--All Rights Reserved