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April 27, 2008 – Damian Jackson Talks April 27, 2008

Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.
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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:

BLUE CRABS

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

PATRIOTS

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:

Vito Chiaravalotti

Brian Reith

Curtis Pride

Pat Osborn

Brandon Ketron

Damian Jackson

Butch Hobson

Jeff Farnsworth (love this shot, the ball seems to be coming at you)

Jeff Farnsworth, again…

Chad Ehrnsberger

Eric Crozier

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%)

Votes: 61

– Mike Ashmore

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Comments»

1. Sharks 52 - April 27, 2008

Concerning Roadwarriorsfan’s comments, actually, the Riversharks game management, imo, is one of the worst in minor league baseball. Now they want thirteen dollars, 15 on game day, to sit in the first four rows so the kids can run down and scream “can I have the baseball” and “you suck” when the batboy won’t give it to him. Tell an usher? Good Luck. If you can find one he’ll be hanging over the rail half asleep or hiding back in the stadium with her friends. The bathrooms are often a mess, no soap or towels. As pointed out by Road Warrior fan, the concessions aren’t managed very well. The experience at Trenton or Lancaster is much more professional and enjoyable than at Camden. Since minor league management claims most fans are more concerned with finding their seat, eating and using the bathroom than the game itself it amazes me that these problems continue year after year. I’ve left suggestions on the Riversharks e-mail that maybe this is why they are always in the bottom half of attendance every year but get no response on that subject, although I always get answered on others. Adam Lorber seems to be a nice enough guy but he can’t seem to correct the problems that are keeping fans out of his ballpark.

2. Anonymous - April 27, 2008

Hi Sharks 52,I have only been to one game at Campbell’s field,so my opinion is only a small fraction from what you normally see. But,I will say,I had no problem. It was a very hot morning in August,one usher came over to where I was sitting and gave me a couple of Bullfrog packet’s. The one concession stand I would go to,the girl was very nice and helpfull,and as I was leaving the game,the workers outside gave me directions out of the parking lot.I was very dissapointed with the souvenir shop,I thought they could have done a better job. Still,I will go back when I get a chance.

3. Anonymous - April 27, 2008

Man,those Blue Crab uniforms are uuuuuuuugly.

4. PlayerPCCollector - April 28, 2008

Any news on Damian Jackson getting beaned in today’s game?

5. Adam Lorber - April 28, 2008

Sharks 52:

I was browsing and saw your post…It is true we have had problems with the rest rooms over the past year and we have made major changes. We have hired additional porters to check on the mens and womens restrooms every inning…we have changed the soap dispensers and the soap to ensure the supply and have purchesed additional trash cans – that will be in this week. In the concession stands, we have added a mexican stand, a BBQ grill will be opening up shortly, we have a new Deli stand and the employees are not only volunteer groups but also employees from the Washington Redskins and other Centerplate facilities. In addition, our store has brand new merchendise as we have replaced our Centerplate General Manager. We are rolling out waitress service in the stands and have farmed out Red Hot and Blue, a local BBQ restaurent to cater our picnic area. I am interested to sit down with you and listen to your ideas…as you are a fan, perhaps there are things we can do to make your visit more enjoyable. We do not want our games to get stale thus we have a new video guy who will be creating new video board meterial, we have a new fireworks company, etc… Why dont you call me this week and we can find time for you to share your ideas. In addition, please use the ASK THE GM link on our web site if you prefer to send me an e-mail. It is hard for me to make changes If I do not know what your thoughts are.

Best regards,

Adam Lorber
General Manager
Camden Riversharks

6. BoosterBabe - April 28, 2008

Re: Blue Crabs Uniforms…
I believe the word is “fugly”.
WOW.
And I thought the York Revolution’s road jersey’s were ugly!!!!

7. chip saunders - April 28, 2008

Those Blue Crab uniforms,lol,fugly covers it well.

8. AtlanticLeagueFans - April 28, 2008

I just saw two games in Camden, and I don’t have many complaints.

The parking situation was quite literally the best I had ever experienced at a pro sports event. The stadium seemed to be clean. The people in the ticket booth were really friendly and helpful. The only usher I talked with was nice enough. I got a free mint after the game.

On the other hand, my sweet potato fries at the concession stand were stone cold. I had conventional fries the previous day, and they were fine, which makes me think that the key is to stick with foods that sell well. Other than that and the fact that York wasn’t real competitive, it’s all thumbs up this weekend.

9. Roadwarriorfan - April 28, 2008

Sharks52 brought up a great point with the kids hanging around the player enterance and dugout begging for bats and balls during the game. I usually sit in section 116 when I attend and it gets very annoying to both players and fans and there doesn’t seem to be any ushers to take care of the problem…but it was great to see Mr. Lorber respond to our complaints.

10. Adam - April 28, 2008

I really do appreciate the comments – it is the only way we can get better. It will be addressed to the ushers before tomorrows game. If you are there and it is going on please notify me and we will ask the children to take their seats

11. Sharks52 - April 28, 2008

Thanks for commenting Adam. The biggest help would be more ushers. I notice only two on most nights patrolling the stadium including the opening night when you had 6500 people there. I felt bad for the people in some of the front rows because in some areas the kids were all over the rail hollering and yelling and even if the two ushers were running all over the place to try to give the premium seat holders a better experience it would have been impossible to control it. I realize all you can do is control it, not stop it. Maybe there could be a reassignment to get more staff in with the fans. We go to a lot of riversharks games and appreciate the offer to contact you with suggestions which I will. Thanks again for taking the time to respond here.

12. Anonymous - April 28, 2008

Mr. Lorber deserves to be commended for coming on here to answer the concerns of the Riversharks fans. I think all the GM’s should do it. They all read it on a semi-regular basis (although they claim they do not when asked but yet they know exactly what is going on with the postings). Granted, you can e-mail the individual GM’s on each team’s web site, but you normally get the standard answer of “thank you for your concern and we will look into that matter” BS and then nothing comes from it and you never hear from them again unless you persistently e-mail them. I can recall some players commenting on this site, but I do not recall a GM doing it before and I think it is a great thing. I wish all the GM’s (Bridgeport/Long Island) had the resolve to do this. Great job Adam!!

Mike,
Is it possible to have online interviews with the GM’s (or Joe Klein or Frank Boulton) like you do with the players? Have you ever tried to do it? I realize that it has the possibility of getting out of control with some of the comments that have been previously posted here about the league executives, but maybe there could be some sort of a screening system set up for the questions and a way to block any inappropriate comments that may be added while the interview is going on.

-Fish/Ducks fan

13. Adam - April 28, 2008

I did speak to our Facilities Manager this morning and we are going to have a female stationed in the rest room on our busy nights …currently we have 6 “porters” who have different duties. The hardest thing for us is making sure the employees show up to work..and while we do over staff on our Fridays sometimes it still isnt enough. In terms of our ushers, we have changed where they are stationed and will add one on our busy days as well..granted it is easier when we have our interns after college lets out but its a start…. hopefully it will help until we figure out a permenent solution.

I was on the blog to see if there was any chatter about our sweep of YORK without our #1 and #2 pitchers being thrown …really, I look to see what people say about once a week …I do encourage everyone that if there is an issue at the ballpark you attend to call the GM or AGM …we are community entities and customer service is what seperates us…my direct dial is 856-583-0030…Time to pull tarp

14. Kerri Copeland - May 1, 2008

I was at Campbell’s Field on opening day and the bathrooms were a mess there was water on the floor, no hand towels, only one of the new soap containers had soap in it. Did someone realize that it was opening day and the bathrooms should be checked?
Does management ever check the bathrooms before the games to check the conditions to make sure they are in clean for the fans?
And you can’t find an usher to let them know there is a problem. Do you have ushers this year?

Kerri Copeland


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