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January 16, 2006 – The Brad Strauss Q&A January 16, 2007

Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.
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Brad Strauss Q&A: Professional baseball player. Hitting coach. Front office extraordinaire. Atlanticleaguebaseball.com contributor. (Check out who he’d pick as a catcher in the HOF post)

Is there anything the man hasn’t done?

2003 Atlantic League batting champion Brad Strauss will be here LIVE at 4PM to answer fans questions during another one of our popular Inside the AL Q&A’s.

Strauss started his professional career in the Frontier League before two wildly productive seasons in the Prairie League. After three seasons in Taiwan, Strauss headed to the Atlantic League in 2000, splitting the season between Atlantic City and Long Island.

But his the biggest move his career arguably came in 2001, when he became a Camden Rivershark. Strauss will be a big part of the Riversharks 2007 season, but to be a big part of today’s Q&A, you’ve got to be here live at 4PM.

To follow the Q&A live, refresh the comments section of the page.

Brad Santa: For some Brad King news courtesy of Scott Stanchak, check out yesterday’s post.

Signings: These are rather old, but it’s kind of like NBC’s old must see TV slogan. If you haven’t seen them, they’re new to you!

P Justin Wechsler (SOM) signed with the White Sox. 1B Mike Huggins (RW) signed with Milwaukee. OF Gary Burnham (BPT) re-signed with Philadelphia. OF Jeremy Owens (SOM) re-signed with Tampa Bay. – Mike Ashmore

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Comments»

1. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - January 16, 2007

We’re expecting Brad Strauss to stop by in around 45 minutes, make sure you’re here at 4 to follow the Q&A live.

2. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - January 16, 2007

Brad should be here shortly, stay tuned kids.

3. Brad Strauss - January 16, 2007

Mike I am here sorry

4. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - January 16, 2007

No worries. It only gives me an excuse to use my awful “Strauss In The House” line again.

With that said, welcome aboard and let’s get this thing rolling.

JL writes: Brad, you do an excellent job representing the Riversharks. We appreciate all you do for the organization.
How much were you able to learn from playing/working with Wayne (Krenchicki) for, what, six years? I bet you two have seen just about everything together.

5. Brad Strauss - January 16, 2007

Yes we have been through a lot together. Chick taught me a lot about the game from a managers standpoint. We have had ups and downs in our 6 years but I have always had respect for Chick and had a great time with him overall.

6. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - January 16, 2007

Who would you say was/is your favorite Shark teammate you have played with?

7. Brad Strauss - January 16, 2007

Well that is very hard question and I don’t know if I can list that as one. First I have had the great pleasure of playing with 3 of my good friends on and off the diamond. Linc Mikkelsen, Gary Collum and Derek Smith. I also would have to include Dwight Maness in that as I think he has been the best relationship I have built solely here at the Riversharks. Not to say Dwight isn’t a friend because he is now it is just I had previous relationships with the others prior to the Sharks.

8. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - January 16, 2007

This sounds like an Ashmore question, but I swear it isn’t…

Who would you say was the most talented Shark teammate you ever played with?

9. Brad Strauss - January 16, 2007

Hands down Dwight Maness. I honestly believe he is the most talented player ever to play in this league. He has every tool and between the lines is as much fun to watch as anyone I have ever seen lace em up.

10. Brad Strauss - January 16, 2007

With exception to the greatest leadoff hitter of all time! Let me preface.

11. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - January 16, 2007

AD writes: What exactly does your front office job in the winter entail?

12. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - January 16, 2007

Rickey Henderson was known to steal a base or two in his day, sure. (Haha)

13. Brad Strauss - January 16, 2007

Well my concentration is on Advertising Sales but as anyone who knows minor league baseball it includes everything. Selling groups, tickets, doing appearances and speaking engagements.

14. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - January 16, 2007

Brad, I guess kind of as a follow-up to that, how did you end up getting in the front office in the first place? It’s kind of a unique position for you to play for the team and work for it as well – not to say playing isn’t work, but I think you see where I’m going with this…

15. Brad Strauss - January 16, 2007

Well it actually came out of necessity for me and great insight on the part of John Brandt. When I was picked for Camden I asked John if there would be anything available after the season so I could have a job and continue chasing my dream. He agreed to give me a try and thankfully I hit .314 that first year or the position might have been filled. It has been great for me learning the front office and giving me a lot of sales training. Not to mention keeps me doing the really hard job of playing.

16. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - January 16, 2007

Just goes to show you that versatility is beneficial off the field as well, not just on it.

Anyway, back to the questions…

What kind of college degree do you have?

17. Brad Strauss - January 16, 2007

I have a bachelor degree in business management from Catawba College in North Carolina.

18. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - January 16, 2007

How much actual “coaching” do you do as a hitting coach?

19. Brad Strauss - January 16, 2007

Well what you learn is at this level with the experience level of the guys you don’t need to break anyone’s swing down completely. Most of what you do is watch and try to give a little tip here or there of what you are seeing that they can try. This is easier with players that I have spent a lot of time with like Dwight. I know his swing so well I can tell him some little things when I see them. Basically you sit back and wait for a guy to ask you what he may be doing wrong.

20. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - January 16, 2007

Do many other players come to you with help on their swings etc?

21. Brad Strauss - January 16, 2007

What do you mean by other players?

22. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - January 16, 2007

Hmmm…well, this was asked a few days back so I’m not entirely sure. I guess I’ll take it from an around the league perspective and rephrase it a bit — based on your success in the batting average department, did you find that other players from around the league would try to pick your brain?

23. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - January 16, 2007

Sorry if I misrepresented the intent of the question to the reader who asked that, by the way…

24. Brad Strauss - January 16, 2007

I wouldn’t say there was a lot of that. You find those players that love to talk baseball and I am one of those. When you sit down with those particular guys then it comes up.

25. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - January 16, 2007

Can you take us around the different clubhouses in the league — any stand out as being good or any as bad??

26. Amy - January 16, 2007

(Mike..yes that’s what I meant I think..haha)

27. Brad Strauss - January 16, 2007

Best I would say is a toss up between Long Island and Lancaster. LI always has a nice spread post game so that is what I am basing that on but Lancaster’s facility I feel is the nicest. Worst to me is Somerset. It is a closet that doesn’t seem to get much attention from the clubby between each teams visits.

28. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - January 16, 2007

What kind of food do you guys get as visitors? Would it be as good as steaks or as bad as hot dogs??

29. Brad Strauss - January 16, 2007

Well Long Island used to have Outback once a series but last year non of that. So yes we would get steak. I would say post game meal most served is Ham Or Pizza.

30. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - January 16, 2007

TS writes – Aside from meeting your wife Amy on Long Island, please lets us know about your time as a Long Island Duck. How do you rate the organization, the ballpark and your experiences here?

31. Brad Strauss - January 16, 2007

Well till the time I got to come home and play here it was the best experience I have had. The thing I love about Long Island are the fans. They are passionate and they know there sports(like philly fans) they know the little things about it. They know the most important thing is hustle and they appreciate the guys who do and boo the ones that don’t. I loved that about them. Of course the packed house every night is awesome and really gets you excited to play there whether you are a home player of a visitor. Best Place to play for me outside Camden. I also loved the organization. Buddy was probably the best manager I have ever played for and helped my game immensely and I have a good relationship with Frank. I don’t have one bad thing to say. If Camden never opened their doors I would have ended my career a duck.

32. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - January 16, 2007

Three for more you, Brad.

It surprises me that you’ve never spent a day in affiliated baseball with the impressive hitting statistics you’ve been able to put up. You’ll see players in other indy leagues without affiliated experience, but generally not the AL.

How close were you to signing with an affiliated team, and did your lack of experience with an affiliate ever hurt you earlier in your career?

33. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - January 16, 2007

By the way, entering 2006, Brad had seven seasons of hitting above .300, including five straight.

34. Brad Strauss - January 16, 2007

Well I would venture to say you will never see a guy approaching his 14th year of professional baseball with no affilitated experience. I have had good fortune and bad in my career. The closest I ever came was making it to the last day of spring training with the Mets in 95. Thought I had a great spring but just didn’t make the team. I had another opportunity to go with the Pirates but chose to go to Taiwan and make the money. I was very fortunate to get that opportunity and obviously the current one I have that has allowed me to keep playing baseball while making a living but there will never be a day in my life when I don’t say what if I got that one chance. I have a lot to be thankful for in this game so I try to focus on the positives.

35. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - January 16, 2007

Two more…

Tell me about playing in Taiwan. Outside of the money, which you mentioned, it’s hard to players with positive experiences there. What was that whole experience like for you?

36. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - January 16, 2007

hard to find*

37. Brad Strauss - January 16, 2007

Well I think it is hard to say that the money isn’t the best thing but the whole experience of another culture and learning how to get around and trying to learn another language was fun for me. I was young and hadn’t ever been out of the country so I learned some great lessons about life and how differently other cultures feel about things.

38. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - January 16, 2007

Last question for you…

Where does winning the 2003 AL batting title rank among your baseball accomplishments?

39. Brad Strauss - January 16, 2007

Finley Fan I don’t know but if you want I will help you out.

40. Brad Strauss - January 16, 2007

Well besides the 1996 season in Minot N.D. I would say it is my individual best accomplishment. Considering the talent in this league it definitely ranks higher than tying the all time best mark in Taiwan and the batting title there even though I am very proud of that as well. That whole year of 2003 was my best year as a shark. Best team and teammates and the most fun ride we have ever had.

41. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - January 16, 2007

That one comment was deleted for obvious reasons. My apologies on that one.

Anyway, thanks to Brad for coming on and doing the Q&A. I definitely appreciate you taking the time out of your busy day to answer some questions from the fans and myself.

If you’ve got anything else you wanna say – feel free to fire away.

42. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - January 16, 2007

And just a friendly reminder that Al Benjamin will be joining us on Friday at 2PM.

43. Brad Strauss - January 16, 2007

Don’t worry about the comment I am sure it came from someone close to me and by that I mean sitting close to me at this moment being funny. Not a problem. If you don’t learn how to have a thick skin you can’t play this game or enter a locker room. But thank you very much for having me Mike. I am a little shocked no questions about Joe Furgeson? Maybe next time. Thanks again to all the fans without you there is no league…anywhere!

44. Amy - January 16, 2007

Thanks mike again for the opportunity to ask these guys some questions and of course also thanks to Brad for his interesting responses…see ya in Lancaster Brad!

45. Brad Strauss - January 16, 2007

Soon enough Amy! 105 days til opening day! (I THINK).

46. Jeff - January 16, 2007

Thanks Mike for another good Q&A. It’s great we have the opportunity to get closer to the players and the game. You do a great job!

47. Amy - January 16, 2007

You bet Brad!

48. Jeff - January 16, 2007

Best of luck heading into the 2007 season. Thanks for all you do, in making the game fun and enjoyable to all the Shark fans. We look forward to another interesting year, with a new manager. Take care, Brad.

49. Brad Strauss - January 16, 2007

Thanks Jeff. Can’t wait to get the season underway. Should be a fun new start.

50. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - January 17, 2007

Glad everyone enjoyed this. Without the participants in these, they’re nothing, so that’s where all the thanks needs to go.

I’m just the messenger.

-M-


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