This week I did an interview with Scott Feldman, the Rangers relief pitcher. I met Scott last year when he was with the RoughRiders. He was always very friendly and would take time to talk with me in the bullpen before the games. Even since being called up to the Rangers, he’s still always willing to talk to me and has always remembered me.
The interview is below:
1. Who are your three favorite teammates since you joined the Rangers organization and why?
It’s tough to pick out 3 but I'll just say I haven't come across any bad ones yet. The guys out in the bullpen are who I spend most of my time with during the season and we have a pretty good time hanging out.
2. Can you please rate the ballparks in the Rangers organization that you’ve played in from 1 to 10 (10 being the best) and explain your ratings?
Frisco was a 10. I think people that have seen it or played there can tell why. OKC was also nice but I'd rate it lower than Frisco. My first stop in the minor leagues was Bakersfield. The set up wasn't the best but it was a good time and I'll always remember my first home ball park in the minors.
3. Who are the three toughest hitters you’ve faced and why?
Vlad Guererro because there isn't a right way for anyone to pitch that guy, he hits everything. I remember him hitting a slider a foot and a half off the plate and getting a single against me. Derek Jeter, not because he hit a homer off me, but mainly after seeing him play in person I realized what a great player he was. If spring training counts I'd say Mike Young. If you’re a Ranger fan you know why.
4. What is the biggest adjustment you had to make when you started facing major-league hitting?
I tried to do exactly what got me there in the first place. Throw strikes and be aggressive. Obviously the hitters are better but if you make good pitches and get ahead in the count you have a good shot at getting some outs.
5. What is the toughest thing about major league life and why?
For me the toughest thing so far has been the back and forth thing from Texas to Oklahoma. I’m hoping to have a consistent year next year and try to stay in
Texas for the entire time. I like traveling but I've worn the path out pretty good from Arlington to OKC.
6. How did it feel to be the Coast Conference Pitcher of the Year for two straight years and to set the college of San Mateo’s school records for wins and ERA?
All that stuff in college was a lot of fun. I had great coaches, great teammates and made a lot of great friends. It was a lot of fun to be on those teams and play 10 minutes from where I grew up. And we had some pretty good teams in ‘02 and ‘03.
7. Why did you decide to not sign with Houston when they drafted you in 2002?
When Houston drafted me in ‘02 it was a draft and follow. That said, I thought I would end up signing with them prior to the ‘03 draft but it didn't work out. I’m not complaining, I love being with the Rangers.
8. Why did you decide to sign with the Rangers in 2003 instead of going to the University of Tennessee like you planned?
I signed with the Rangers because I wanted to play pro ball and get my career started. When I didn't get drafted until the 30th round, I thought I'd end up going to Tennessee, but the Rangers wanted to sign me and l really wanted to get started.
9. What was the recovery process for your Tommy John surgery like?
None of the rehab process was too much fun, but the thing that bothered me the most was not being able to play. Since I was 4 or 5 years old I was always playing baseball so it was weird to not be able to play.
10. What was it like to be called up to the Rangers in late 2005?
Getting called up in ‘05 was awesome for me. I look back on it now and I can remember how I didn't sleep at all the night I found out. The lack of sleep probably helped me relax because I wasn't that nervous during my first outing.
11. What is your best pitch and how was it developed?
My best pitch is probably my fastball. The one that I need to develop is my change-up.
12. What’s been the best game so far of your professional career and why?
My best game in the minors was the perfect game in AA with A.J. Murray and Steve Karsay. In the big leagues my favorite game was 1/3 of an inning against the Giants. All my family and friends were there and unfortunately they got to witness one of the worst calls of all time. But it was still cool to play in the stadium I grew up going to against the team I grew up idolizing.
13. What was your favorite team growing up?
The Giants and 49ers
14. What sports did you play growing up and which were you best at?
I played hoops, football, soccer and golf. Now I mainly just golf and I’m really not that good but I have a lot of fun playing. I have had a couple 7 hour rounds with Kam Loe because he likes to take 5 practice swings per shot.
15. What are your hobbies?
My hobbies during the beginning of the off season are relaxing, hanging out with family and friends and trying to take a vacation.
I would like to thank Scott for being so nice and letting me interview him. Come back next week for part 2 of the free agent special begun last week.