May 3, 2008 – Calvin Pickering Talks May 3, 2008Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.
Pickering Picks His Spots: Bridgeport Bluefish DH Calvin Pickering is a big dude. Listed at 6′ 5″, 260 by Bridgeport, the former Major Leaguer certainly stands out in a crowd.
The Virgin Islands native has 95 big league games under his belt, playing with the Orioles, Reds, Red Sox and Royals.
He hit 14 home runs at the highest level of the game, and has another 224 at the minor league level.
And ever since his departure from Kansas City in 2005, Pickering has been on the radar of many Atlantic League GM’s.
After playing last season for the T-Bones of the Northern League, Pickering was content with sitting out the 2008 season. But he’s giving the Atlantic League a shot, having signed with Bridgeport, and here’s our conversation, which took place in Newark’s visiting clubhouse several days ago:
Mike Ashmore: There have been GM’s in this league who have wanted you for several years now. What led to you finally make the jump and playing in the Atlantic League?
Calvin Pickering: “I just decided to come play. I wasn’t going to play this year at all, so it was a last minute thing to give it one more shot. I talked to my family, and they convinced me to come here and play.”
MA: You’ve always put up huge power numbers throughout your career, and I don’t think you’d find too many teams who don’t like a guy who averages 20-30 home runs a year. With that said, do you feel like getting picked up is a realistic goal for you?
CP: “Right now, I’m not sure. To be honest, I’m not 100 percent sure. I think just getting some confidence with myself in playing and going out and putting up numbers again, like I always did in my whole career. Something could happen. I just think I needed a little bit of time to get away and then come back and play and see what happened, but I didn’t want to sit out a year again and lose out. So like I said, I talked to my family about it, and they said to go ahead and play. They said that’s what you love to do, so don’t give up.”
MA: How close have you been to coming to this league before?
CP: “There were some offers. But at the same time, this is only my second year of independent ball. Last year, I played in the Northern League. This time, I didn’t hear from the affiliated teams, so it’s not like I had a choice, you know. But I’m here to get back. This is a good league, and this is where you’ve got to be to come play. There’s a lot of veteran guys and guys I’ve played with my whole career. It’s fun just to be around them and see those guys.”
MA: You’ve been up in the big leagues with a handful of teams. Do you have a favorite moment from being up there?
CP: “It’s always a great feeling to be up there, just getting an opportunity. And I’m glad that I got the opportunity from all those teams. It was great, I can’t complain. That’s where you want to be.”
MA: Tell me about being a part of the Red Sox…
CP: “It felt great, just being there in Boston and playing. The way they treat you, the organization and everybody, it was great. It was the same thing with Kansas City and Baltimore and stuff. Every team I’ve played with, they show you love and they treat you with respect. Once you go out and do your job, they reward you. I was just happy to be there. I had a great time in Boston. I did my job there, but unfortunately I got hurt in a crucial year and ended up missing all of the 2002 season, and that was another setback I’ve had.”
MA: There are some people who think you should still be in affiliated ball. And it’s hard to argue with them, given the tremendous power numbers you’ve shown throughout your career. Are you surprised that you’re here?
CP: “Yeah. And I think that’s what played a big part in me thinking of coming out and playing. With the experience I have, and like you said, with the numbers I’ve put up my whole career, by doing that and playing…it gets to you, like what am I still doing. The fun starts to go away. But on the other hand, I’m not the type of person to give up. I’ll always fight. When some people doubt you, I always prove them wrong. At the end of the year, tell them to look at the numbers, and you can say what you want. But look at the numbers, they’ll speak for themselves. But yeah, that’s one of the biggest reasons I was thinking of coming back and playing. Just because of the whole situation. But you’ve got to move on, and you’ve got to keep fighting, and whatever happens happens.”
Brownlie Promoted To Triple-A: Congrats to former Newark Bears P Bobby Brownlie, who was promoted to Triple-A Columbus by the Nationals organization. – Mike Ashmore