Too often, we see baseball players as essentially different from the rest of us. In order to combat that trend, we at ChatterBalks have started Getting To Know You, in which we conduct informal interviews in order to humanize them. This time: Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria!
ChatterBalks: Thanks for talking to us, Evan.
Evan Longoria: Yeah, no problem. Anything to avoid talking to Yahoo’s baseball blog. Dan Uggla said they ask some weird questions.
CB: So what’s your favorite thing about playing in Tampa?
EV: Oh, no question, it’s the fans and the atmosphere they create.
CB: That’s two things.
EV: Well, I guess I can’t pick just one.
CB: Perhaps you didn’t understand the question. The point is to pick one thing. So is it the fans or the atmosphere they create? It can’t be both.
EV: I guess the fans, then.
CB: What about the fans in Tampa is so great?
EV: I guess it’s the way that you walk in the building, to Tropicana Field, and you just feel like this team has tons of history behind it instead of like 10 years. And then the support we get from the community and the way they embrace us really makes this place somewhere special.
CB: …So if you had to pick one thing about playing in Tampa that’s your favorite, it would really be the atmosphere the fans create.
CB: Because the people are completely replaceable to you as long as you get that awesome feeling.
EV: I guess.
CB: Isn’t that the defintion of a sociopath?
EV: Did you just put words in my mouth and use those words to call me evil and insane?
CB: Many psychopaths are very sane. That’s what makes them so dangerous.
EV: You know a disturbing amount about this.
CB: Moving on-
EV: Good idea.
CB: The Rays are a team with a very young core. Is it exciting to play on that kind of a team?
EV: Oh, definitely. This team really has a lot of energy and that makes it a lot of fun to play here.
CB: Who on your team is the most likely candidate to flameout horribly?
EV: I don’t really think any of them are going to do that. They’re all extremely talented and they work very hard.
CB: Sure, but Ben Grieve was talented and worked hard. Brett Tomko was talented and worked hard. Angel Berroa, Eric Hinske, and Todd Hollandsworth all had teammates who believed in them and their careers ended up being fairly unimpressive. Shawn Estes won 19 games one year and then ended up being Shawn Estes for the rest of his career. Who on your team is most likely to follow that path?
EV: I believe in all the guys on the Rays.
CB: Our money’s on BJ Upton.
EV: I’ll pass that along.
CB: Or maybe…James Shields. Kazmir’s more of an injury guy, so he’ll be like a Mark Prior if he fails. It won’t be that he sucks, his talent will just be wasted with all those injuries. But Shields we could see just dropping off the face of the earth.
EV: Shields? No way!
CB: Who’s more likely than Shields?
EV: Garza’s got all the talent in the world, but it comes so easy to him. The second he begins to struggle, he’ll just be gone mentally.
CB: See, this is the insider’s perspective.
EV: Wait, did I just say that out loud?
EV: Oh. Oh shit.