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January 8, 2007 – The Greg Modica Q&A January 8, 2007

Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.

Greg Modica Q&A: Greg Modica will be here right at 7PM to answer fans previously submitted questions in another one of our popular Q&A’s.

Only previously submitted questions will be answered during the Q&A session – any questions asked during the session will be answered if he has time.

To follow the session live, keep refreshing the comments section of the page.

Also, stay tuned at the end of the Q&A, as I’ll announce who’ll be participating in our next Q&A on January 16th. – Mike Ashmore, mashmore@patriotsbaseball.com



1. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - January 8, 2007

Greg will be here in about a half an hour – we got a lot of questions, so I’m hoping we can get through those first and then if there’s any from those following live, those can either be answered at the end or at a later date.

2. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - January 8, 2007

Big thanks to Greg Modica, who is officially in the house. Let’s get this one underway…

I was wondering how much work you do on your legs, knowing that you need leg drive and push on your pitches?

3. Greg Modica - January 9, 2007

In the off-season I do a lot of work on my legs. When I was younger I would run tons of sprints. I didn’t do much lifting. Once I got into pro ball I was introduced to the weight room and started squatting and working my legs very hard (even though I still didn’t look like I did anything ;). My velocity increased and I felt a lot better over the course of the year. Running is still very important to me although I don’t run as much as I used to. I found that all that running would cause me to lose a lot of weight during the season.

4. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - January 9, 2007

Are there any pitchers you admire and study, even in the big leagues, who might be of similar size as you, to pick up any hints of better technique, for your pitches? Greg Maddux comes to mind as being a pitcher who is somewhat small, but does amazing things with his pitches.

5. Greg Modica - January 9, 2007

There are quite a few pitchers in the big leagues that are similar in size to myself. Greg Maddux has unbelievable control and movement that I try to duplicate, only my ball stays straight. Pedro Martinez is probably the guy I admire most because when he came up he was probably the same size as me. He has lost some velocity over the years but he has become more of a finesse pitcher and adapted to the game with the ability he has.

6. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - January 9, 2007

In addition to your Atlantic League experience, you also are one of the “All-Time Pitching Leaders” for the River City Rascals of the independent Frontier League. Can you compare the two leagues?

7. Greg Modica - January 9, 2007

There really isn’t too much to compare. The Atlantic League is a much stronger league. Although the Frontier League does have some talent, the players are younger, less experienced, and as a pitcher, you can get away with a lot more mistakes. There are some real nice ballparks in the Frontier League but the clubhouses are terrible. In River City we changed in a trailer that was extremely small and our showers only had cold water. One field we played at, we had to change in a little out-house with a few benches in it.

8. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - January 9, 2007

MA: Geez, sounds like more like the final frontier than the Frontier League. Yikes.

Tell us a little about your collegiate experience with Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Missouri. How did a New York boy end up in Missouri? Did your experience with CSC in Missouri lead you to the River City (O’Fallon, MO) Rascals (or the Rascals to you)?

9. Greg Modica - January 9, 2007

I was actually applying to all colleges in California and Florida (Division 2 and NAIA schools) and my cousin came across Culver-Stockton. All the Cali and FL schools were telling me because of my size I was going to have to red-shirt a year or play JV ball. I had just sat on the bench for most of my High School career and wanted to play. My cousin and I are very close, he mentioned something about Culver and I called the coach. He hadn’t recruited a lot of pitching and promised that he would give me every chance to pitch. We (my cousin and I) made the decision that we would go there together so if it sucked (I hope I can say that) we at least had each other. It was the best decision I ever made. I got away from all the distraction of NYC and only had baseball and academics to worry about.

I played some playoff games in college my sophomore and junior seasons at River City’s ballpark and that is how I first learned about them. When I got released I decided to play there because I was taking classes at Culver in the off-season and it is only a 90 minute drive. Once I was finished with Culver, I was done with Missouri.

10. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - January 9, 2007

You played on the Northwest League (Eugene Emeralds), what was it like playing in the Pacific Northwest?

11. Greg Modica - January 9, 2007

The Pacific Northwest was a very nice area. A lot of mountains, the climate was great. It was an area that I would probably have never gone to visit on my own. The worst part about being in the Northwest League was there were some long bus trips.

12. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - January 9, 2007

What are your plans for the 2007 season? What are your fondest memories of playing professional baseball?

13. Greg Modica - January 9, 2007

My fondest memory of baseball would have to be my first start with the Somerset Patriots at the end of the 2004 season. That night was the first time in my pro career that I had my family in the stands watching me. I had a no-hitter into the seventh inning and after I gave up a single, all the fans started to clap. I was just glad that my family was able to have that experience.

For the 2007 season I will be sitting at home. I just had rotator cuff surgery on Nov. 30 and I don’t think I will be ready to play. Maybe I will find a coaching job, or I may clean the dust off my business degree and try to use it. All I know is that playing baseball is not going to be an option but I will definitely be back in 2008.

14. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - January 9, 2007

MA: Kind of an unfortunate bit of breaking news there. Best of luck in getting back for 2008 – I’m sure the fans will keep you in their thoughts.

When you signed with Somerset at the end of 2004, did you view it as a tryout for the following season or were you not looking that far ahead?

15. Greg Modica - January 9, 2007

I didn’t look at the 2 starts with Somerset in 2004 as a tryout. I knew that for my first start they were still in a playoff race. They were thin with pitching and that’s why they brought me in. A player doesn’t get the ball like that in a big game just as a tryout. Sparky and Count saw me throw and had confidence in pitching me in that situation. I definitely felt like I had something to prove. I wanted to show I was capable of being a starter in the Atlantic League because I was under no circumstances going back to the Frontier League for 2005.

16. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - January 9, 2007

You were faced with a difficult decision in 2005 when you had the opportunity to go to Taiwan – take me through that experience…

17. Greg Modica - January 9, 2007

The bottom line with the Taiwan situation is money. When I signed with Somerset, because of my limited experience, I wasn’t making very much. I was already losing money every month. I was commuting everyday because I already had an apartment in Queens. Gas prices were through the roof and the debt kept building up even worse. I didn’t want to leave my teammates especially knowing that we were in the playoffs but having that opportunity I would have been an idiot not to go.

18. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - January 9, 2007

2005 ended up being a pretty good year for you, you ended up winning a championship with Somerset. Tell me about pitching in the playoffs that year…

19. Greg Modica - January 9, 2007

2005 had a great ending. I was disappointed when I got back from Taiwan. I got extremely sick, had to pitch in Lancaster and got my a#% kicked, and I was just trying to get healthy. I wanted to pitch in the first round of the playoffs but there were 3 starters that had been throwing the ball great that went ahead of me. When we beat AC and I found out I was pitching Gm. 1 of the Championship, that is exactly what I wanted. I’ve always liked pitching big games and that was probably the biggest game I ever got to pitch. Winning that game made the 2005 championship more fulfilling because I felt I had made a major contribution to the team and I wasn’t just a spectator.

20. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - January 9, 2007

The Patriots ended up cutting you in Spring Training last year — how does something like that go down; does Sparky pull you aside, do you get a phone call? Were you surprised to be let go?

21. Greg Modica - January 9, 2007

Adam Gladstone and Brett Jodie talked to me when I was cut. I wasn’t happy. In indy ball, spring training is very short, and you don’t get a great look at new players. I felt playing the whole year in 2005 and keeping my spot in the rotation for the entire year should have proved what I was capable of. I was most upset that Sparky didn’t talk to me at all about the move. The year before I did whatever he asked of me (pitch on short rest, stay in against Lancaster while I was getting killed) and I thought I deserved more than the silent treatment from him. I guess it just is what it is. I got a job 10 minutes later and I was still able to put a uniform on. That is the most important thing.

22. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - January 9, 2007

MA: Greg, I guess just to follow up on that, do you feel like the Taiwan thing had anything to do with you eventually getting cut the following year?

23. Greg Modica - January 9, 2007

I don’t think my decision to leave for Taiwan had anything to do with it. I had an opportunity to make 6 times the amount of money there then I was making in Somerset. When I talked to Sparky, he told me to go. Even though I was only there a few days, I still made twice my monthly salary in the Atlantic League.

24. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - January 9, 2007

MA: I’m sure talking about getting cut isn’t the most fun thing in the world for you, so thanks for answering that.

You initially spurned the Ducks offer to join them while you were on the Road Warriors, but eventually decided to make the move. What led to that decision?

25. Greg Modica - January 9, 2007

When the Ducks made me the first offer, I was scheduled to pitch the following day in Somerset. They wanted me to drive to Lancaster and pitch for them. I didn’t want to leave the Road Warriors hanging like that. The timing wasn’t right so I stayed. When they came to me the second time, it was more of a planned thing, where I knew I was going there before my last start with the Road Warriors. They had plenty of time to find a replacement for me and I felt that if I didn’t take the second offer that I wouldn’t get a third one. The Ducks were in an ideal location for me being from Queens and gave my family and friends more opportunity to see me play.

26. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - January 9, 2007

MA: Two more after this one, Greg.

Do you think having a unique build for a pitcher has led to some of your inactivity? you had an injury in ’04, then pitched well in ’05 for Somerset, but were sidelined again in ’06. Was it the same problem, or different. Do you find it tough to battle through injuries as a smaller player? Thanks and hope to see you in the AL again in ’07.

27. Greg Modica - January 9, 2007

I never had an injury in ’04. I didn’t miss a start between the Frontier League and Somerset. I missed about 4 weeks in ’05 with an oblique injury and my injury in ’06 was my shoulder (rotator cuff). This was the first arm injury I have ever had. Never once, not in college, pro ball, not even in little league have I ever missed a game due to an injury to my arm. Actually the oblique injury I had in ’05 was the first time in my career that I ever missed a start. I don’t know why I got hurt this year but stuff happens. It isn’t because of my size. You won’t see me in ’07 unless you run into me in the mall or somewhere like that. I’ll be back on the mound again in 2008!

28. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - January 9, 2007

My 1st question for Greg would be….Can you tell us how you were treated around the league as a Road Warrior. Did you find the team staffs treating you better then normal because of the situation? Any stories to share? …

29. Greg Modica - January 9, 2007

With the Road Warriors, I don’t think we were necessarily treated any different by staffs of the different teams. I don’t think they really went out of their way for us. I think we got treated like every other visiting team. The fans however were pretty good about the situation. I know in AC, their booster club would leave stuff for us (Minor and Goldwater both played there for a while).

30. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - January 9, 2007

Last one: I know you are a pitcher but how did it feel being involved in a season where you would never have the last at bat or the chance to win a game on a walk off home run??

31. Greg Modica - January 9, 2007

I think that is just more pressure for the bullpen knowing that they always have to preserve the lead in order for us to win. It was hard in the beginning because we were playing pretty well and losing a lot of games in the last inning. Either way though, we still had to outplay another team for 9 innings otherwise we weren’t going to win.

32. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - January 9, 2007

Well Greg, on behalf of the fans and myself, I just wanted to say thank you for stopping by and answering some questions from the fans. I know everyone enjoyed this, and we always get a lot of positive feedback on our Inside the AL Q&A’s.

I also want to take the time to wish you a speedy recovery – I always enjoy seeing you out there on the mound, and I look forward to seeing you again in 2008. If there’s anything else you want to say, feel free to fire away.

Also, if any fans following live have any more questions for Greg, leave them here and he can either answer them now or I’ll pass them along and make sure he gets them.

33. Greg Modica - January 9, 2007

Mike, thanks for having me on here. I appreciate all the fans who have submitted questions and who follow the Atlantic League. I have enjoyed playing in the League and I hopefully I can get back in 2008. Happy New Year everyone!

34. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - January 9, 2007

And Happy New Year to you as well.

Brad Strauss, the 2003 Atlantic League Batting Champion, will be the next visitor to the atlanticleaguebaseball.com Q&A room, stopping by on January 16th at 4PM. The official announcement will be made on the site tomorrow, but if anyone can’t wait to send in questions – mashmore@patriotsbaseball.com is where you need to send them.

Brad is a long-time Camden Rivershark, is a player/coach and also plays a big role in the front office. It’s like you’re getting to talk to three people at once, so I strongly encourage everyone to take advantage.

Hope everyone enjoyed the Q&A with Greg Modica, and I hope everyone’s looking forward to the session with Brad Strauss.

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