April 27, 2008 – Damian Jackson Talks April 27, 2008Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.
Interview With Damian Jackson: Here’s my chat with long-time Major League infielder Damian Jackson from last night.
ALB: So how did you end up signing with the Blue Crabs?
Jackson: I have a friend that works out with me in the offseason at San Diego State, his name is John Ramistella. He’ll be here for the Blue Crabs (home) opener. I thought it would be interesting to play with him. I needed a place to play ball, the Blue Crabs were interested. Butch called me up and that’s how we made it happen.
ALB: You didn’t play last season. I had heard that you had a problem with your esophagus. Can you tell me about that?
Jackson: I was having spasms, and my esophagus was squeezing up and not allowing me to swallow very much. I had a little trouble breathing, and there was chest pain. It felt like a minor heart attack. It was so new, and so strange to myself, because it’s nothing like a quad, hamstring or arm like we’re used to. The doctors told me it was stress induced, and what do we stress out about. I said we play a failure game, you know what I mean. I had two little boys that I love dearly and I want to take care of. Raising kids in the world these days is a bit stressful, but I think that my stress is pretty normal. Maybe I’m just a little bit harder on myself. But that was the reasoning behind it all. I’m just trying to take it day by day and finish my career with some integrity. Because if you have kids, you can’t teach integrity if you don’t have integrity.
ALB: I guess sticking with the integrity theme, talk about the integrity of the league and what your thoughts were from your experience in spring training…
Jackson: It was real short, real under the gun. I didn’t have a whole lot of time to work the kinks out. It felt like there was a little bit more of a sense of urgency. That’s all right, it’s fine. Some camps I go into trying to work on things and trying to get better. This is a game of adjustments. I try to take the initative to make the adjustment, and sometimes that’s worked out for me and sometimes that’s worked out against me. With the minimal days that we had, I didn’t have time to really think about anything, you just have to act. It’s kind of cool, a little different. But I don’t make up the rules, I’m just going to go and do what I’m told.
ALB: Do you feel like there’s a set role for you on this team? Most people know you as a middle infielder, but it looks like you’ll be in the outfield a lot for this team…
Jackson: I assumed I was going to play pretty much on an everyday basis. Maybe four, five times a week or so. But the conversation that we’ve had was to try to play all seven (positions, outside of catcher and pitcher) and show my versatility. Everybody knows my versatility, but to show everyone I’m healthy, I can do it. I think that’s such an asset to a team, when one guy can play all seven positions. You can carry an extra pitcher, an extra catcher, things of that nature. I think that’s the my ticket back to the big leagues, playing all seven positions, stealing bases and trying to help some of these guys become better players as well.
ALB: There have been some very good players in this league who, for one reason or another, haven’t been able to get picked up. For you, how realistic of a goal do you feel getting picked up by an organization is?
Jackson: It’s a serious, realistic goal. I don’t know, and I’m not planning on really leaving during the year or anything like that, but if it happens, it happens. One of my philosophies in life is hope for the best, but anticipate the worst. So I plan on being here all year. Now when the off-season comes around, I hope I can get a job. If I don’t, it’s time to turn the page and become a father full-time. I’m not going to drag my career on and deprive my kids from their father. They say a man dies for every child that’s born. Maybe my career ends for another young guy to have an opportunity, you never know. I’m just going to be thankful for the opportunity and the ride that I had, but hopefully that doesn’t happen just yet. I’m 34, I’ve got a lot of baseball in me, and I think I can help somebody win a championship.
ALB: You only played the one year from the Red Sox, but it seems like everybody remembers you from there. Do you see it that way too?
Jackson: Sure. I’ve been known infamously for the crash. But it’s OK. I’ve had a lot of other things I’ve done, and a lot of milestones, but that seems to be the national thing, because it was with Johnny Damon and the Red Sox, of course. It is what it is. The true fan will remember me for my hustle, determination and my dedication to an organization. I would run into this brick wall for the guys that sign my checks, because I’m a big believer in playing for the front of the jersey, not the back of the jersey.
ALB: Avoiding the crash thing, but still focusing on that team for a minute, it must have been something special to be a part of that “Cowboy Up” Red Sox team in 2003…
Jackson: It was unbelievable. It was unbelievable that Kevin Millar got the northeast to take on to the “Cowboy Up” thing. Everybody took, and it was a fabulous ride. The Minnesota Twins had given up on David Ortiz, and he showed them a thing or two. It was my second coming with Manny Ramirez, we came up with Cleveland together. It was just a great ride. Red Sox Nation was new to me, and to have that much support nationwide was flabbergasting. I wouldn’t trade it for the world, it was just such a great ride. I’m glad that I had the opportunity and I was blessed to be a part of the situation. I’ve got plenty of stories to tell my grandkids, you know.
Today’s Blue Crabs @ Patriots Lineup:
SS, George Sandel
CF, Damian Jackson
DH, Curtis Pride
LF, Eric Crozier
3B, Pat Osborn
1B, Clint Johnston
2B, Chris Maples
RF, Terrence McClain
C, Brandon Ketron
P, Jeff Farnsworth
CF, Jeff Duncan
2B, Frank Moore
LF, Michael Ryan
3B, Brandon Larson
DH, Josh Pressley
1B, Vito Chiaravalloti
SS, Teuris Olivares
C, Travis Anderson
RF, Elliott Ayala
P, Brian Reith
Sunday Photo Gallery:
Jeff Farnsworth (love this shot, the ball seems to be coming at you)
Jeff Farnsworth, again…
Jeff Farnsworth Video:
You’re Still With Me, Leathers: Was good to see Todd Leathers at the ballpark today. Leathers, who played in the league for several seasons with the Atlantic City Surf and Somerset Patriots, is now a coach with the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights.
Adams Tomorrow: I’ll have a mini-feature on Somerset’s Brian Adams tomorrow.
New Poll, Poll Results: The new poll is up. Should be interesting to see who wins…
How many games will the Blue Crabs win this year?
Less than 50: 15 (24%)
50-59: 21 (34%)
60-69: 15 (24%)
70-80: 4 (6%)
More than 80: 6 (9%)
– Mike Ashmore