May 20, 2007 May 20, 2007Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.
Sunday Photo Gallery:
Pat Ahearne would appreciate this quality photography…
Jorge Piedra, a day after his 5 RBI performance.
Pete Rose, Jr., always a friendly face in the clubhouse
Former Patriot Ray Navarrete
Halama Time: I spoke with Major League veteran pitcher John Halama before this afternoon’s game in Somerset. Quotes today or tomorrow…
Carl Everett…Misunderstood?: I got to sit down with two-time Major League All-Star outfielder Carl Everett before yesterday’s ridiculous extra innings game in Somerset.
We spent around ten minutes talking about a wide variety of subjects, and here are some excerpts…
I asked Carl about whether he feels fans have certain expectations of him based on his reputation…
“I could care less what the fans think.”
OK, now wait. The second you read that quote, you might wonder what he’s thinking by saying that and might tune out the rest of what he has to say. Don’t. He goes on to make some good points…
“I’m not a fan person, I’m a people person. I like people. Fans are going to have opinions based on what they hear. They have no idea who I am, they don’t see me, they don’t know me. People can get to know me, fans can’t get to know me because all they’re going to do is read about me and see me on the field. So as a fan, you can’t like me as a person. They like me and dislike me as a ballplayer, and that’s fine. So as far as what people think about me, it doesn’t matter.”
I ask Carl if he feels there’s something that would surprise people about him as a person, pointing out that when people think of “Carl Everett,” they likely think about the negative incidents he’s been associated with…
“If they go back to the incidents, they don’t know if they’re true or not, it’s just something that they’ve read. I have nothing to prove to any fan. As I’ve said, you’ll either like me or you won’t.”
“Like Deion Sanders said — a fan said, ‘I love you, Deion.’ and he said, ‘No, you don’t. You love what I do.’ Because you don’t know me. And that’s just how it is. Even the players that they say are great guys, they get it all right with the media, but they’re terrible people. There’s a lot of those. There’s a lot of players that are great with the media, but terrible in the clubhouse. And the fans will never know that, because even the media don’t know those players, they only know when a player gives them conversation and all those politically correct words and all that. I’m not one of those guys. I tell the truth, I speak from my heart.”
I asked Carl about the frustrations of being in the Atlantic League after seeing substantial time with Seattle last year…
“When guys play baseball for a living, baseball is in ’em. And the question of why is obvious for everybody in here, they all want to get back to affiliated baseball. And that’s all it is.”
Carl put together quite a nice career, a career in which he made quite a bit of money. Why not just sit at home…what made playing here appealing?
“For me, this was a suggestion…I really didn’t know a lot about it. Instead of sitting home and not having any legs, or if somebody calls and you aren’t ready, this is basically to get in shape for baseball. The only way to get in shape for baseball is to play baseball. You can run around all day long, but you aren’t going to be in shape unless you’re playing.”
I ask Carl about his 2000 season in Boston, where he hit .300 with 34 home runs and 108 RBI. I also call it the best season of his career (he set his career high in home runs that season, tied his highest RBI total and posted his second highest batting average…)
“Not to me, it wasn’t the best season. People look at numbers and say it was a great season, but I don’t believe numbers make a great season. You can win a batting title and your team loses, and that’s not a great season. Yeah, I hit more home runs and I tied the RBI record that I had, but it wasn’t my best season, and it wasn’t the most fun I’ve ever had, either.”
I ask Everett about what it’s like to play in Boston considering all the scrutiny of the fans and the media…
“Well, that all depends on how you look at it. Is it difficult to play baseball there? No. It’s just all the other stuff that they add to it and put on certain people. Even if you’re doing your job, you’re a guy that they wanna bother. The guys who aren’t doing their jobs, they give all the praises. To me, that’s the only difficulties on being on a team like Boston. As I tell everybody, that team won’t win without Manny. Oh yeah, it will (they say). Manny gets hurt, that team goes down the drain. And he’s a guy that they love to bother. And that’s the MO of being in Boston. Is that fun as a player? No. They mess with the wrong people I guess for so-called publicity.”
So do you feel like you were unfairly targeted there?
“Of course I was. There’s no doubt. No doubt. It’s stuff that was exaggerated and also wasn’t true. Fans are fans, fans have no idea what the truth is in this game. They believe whatever the media says, and that’s how it is. The pen is stronger than actual television, because you can’t see it, and you just have to take the people’s word for it. And that’s what fans do. They read the paper, and no matter what’s there, they think it’s the truth.”
With that said, although it’s way after the fact, do you feel like there’s anything you need to clear up, or…
“No. Because the people that were there with that are gone now. The people that were involved there, they know what was true and what was not. And they have to live with it.”
You won a World Series ring in 2005 with the White Sox. Tell me about that…
“It took 13 years to do it, and it was surprisingly easy. Once we got into the playoffs, it didn’t feel as tough as you’d think that it would be. We swept the World Series, which you would never go in thinking that you would do. It was a team that you could actually say stuck together for the most part. Not all of the time, but for the most part (they) stuck together to win, and you can’t beat that.
What was it like playing for Ozzie Guillen? He kind of has an interesting reputation of his own…
“It was different than any other manager I’ve ever had. With the temperment that he has, he deflects a lot of the distraction that there could be in the clubhouse. He let the players play. And that’s pretty much what you want out of a manager. To me, a manager is only a guy who keeps the clubhouse in order and allows you to play.”
It’s not often I feel the need to justify my approach to an interview, but I think it’s probably necessary here. As a reporter, I’m not doing my job if I don’t ask him something related to the various unfortunate incidents he’s been involved in during his Major League career. However, I didn’t want that to be the focus, and hopefully it isn’t.
However, it’s also the most newsworthy stuff from the interview, and that’s why it’s on the top.
Carl has a reputation based on those incidents, and although things were at worst a little awkward at times, he was nothing but nice to me — and more importantly, several teammates I asked about him had nothing but positive things to say about him whether my recorder was on or off.
Truth be told, Everett’s accomplishments as a baseball player tend to be overlooked due to the well-documented off the field issues, and that’s probably too bad. The guy is a two-time All-Star, and his 2000 season was one of the better years anyone’s ever put up in the long, glorious history of the Boston Red Sox.
However, on the same note, he needs to start putting up better numbers if he wants to get out of the Atlantic League. Nursing tightness in his calf, Everett pinch hit in last night’s game and according to manager Dave LaPoint, he’s likely to get back in the lineup on Tuesday.
Probably one of the more interesting ones I’ve done in a while.
Del-Gone-O: Jason Guarente is reporting that Lancaster’s Dario Delgado has been “traded” to the Schaumburg Flyers of the Northern League.
Hill…ummm…Gone-O: P Jeremy Hill has left the Newark Bears to pitch in Taiwan. Obviously, that didn’t come up in our conversation the other day.
Delvis Pacheco has been activated and will take his spot in the rotation. Fans are eagerly anticipating a Delvis-Pressley matchup in Newark next week when Josh Pressley and the Patriots come into town.
Yesterday’s News: And don’t miss my chat with fellow two-time MLB All-Star Danny Graves in yesterday’s post. – Mike Ashmore