Rocco Baldelli: The Walkoff Walk Interview

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On my Florida excursion I've been interviewing a handful of guys in each home clubhouse. While most of them won't make it up here, that's mainly due to me asking uninteresting questions. If an interview hasn't worked so far it has been almost always my fault for not having pressing questions or following up correctly. It's been a learning process but I feel like I've improved leaps and bounds over the past week.

This morning I was in the Red Sox clubhouse doing my very best not to be a homer and everything went well. I had a long and wide ranging conversation with Mike Lowell that touched on a number of subjects besides baseball. Unfortunately my voice recorder was messing up so I just have some hand scribbled notes. Although in some way that may have contributed to the casual ease of the conversation. It was definitely the highlight of this whole thing for me so far. Jason Varitek said he couldn't talk today but he could tomorrow, then he took his shirt off. That was a little uncomfortable.

But the conversation I've deemed best suited to be the next Walkoff Walk Interview was with Rocco Baldelli. This is only partly because it will make me look cool to Lloyd. I interrupted him doing a crossword puzzle.

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Kris Liakos: So I'm sure this is the first question everyone always asks you. How are you feeling?

Rocco Baldelli: Yes that is the first question everyone asks me. I was joking last week that I'm going to make a sign that says "Feeling Good" and put it on my locker.

KL: I saw that. Let's make it and put it up now.

RB: Haha. No, but I am feeling pretty good. Tito has been great with me. We talk everyday. DH some days, play the outfield some days. Just be ready for everyday.

KL: It already looks like Drew won't be coming out of camp 100%, that may open a spot right away in the outfield. Are you ready to go immediately when camp ends?

RB: I think ultimately everyone wants to see JD out there as much as possible. We know we what he can do. I'm going to try and bank on that for now and hopefully just be ready to do whatever I have to do. Left, Right, Center, DH one or two days... I'll be happy doing whatever.

KL: So I'm a New England guy, like yourself. I have to try and be impartial when I'm doing this kind of stuff. And you obviously coming up in the Tampa organization, did you ever have one eye on the Red Sox just to see what they were doing? Was there a part of you that remained a fan?

RB: Well I grew up about an hour from Boston, but I always busy playing the game. I was never a big fan of any team. Obviously the Red Sox were close to my house so I'd go see them but I never felt a huge attraction to Boston as a fan. I always looked at it more from the other side, as a player.

KL: So you had that outlook as a player even from early on. Interesting.

RB: Yeah.

KL: You have a better perspective on this than maybe some other guys, do you think (The AL East) is the best division in baseball?

RB: Well, as a player it's tough to say. I wanna say yes.

KL: I guess I shouldn't say "best" I should say "toughest." Do you think this is the toughest division in baseball?

RB: Well yeah, last year we had 4 teams that were playoff caliber teams. 4 teams that if the right scenario happened could have been World Series caliber. So you take 4 teams like that and you have them play each other 19 times a year, you beat up on each other. But there's no use complaining about it. I learned that a long time ago in Tampa. We weren't very good and we'd get beat up on by this division. It made it difficult, but that's the reality. Complaining isn't the way to go about it. You just grit your teeth and deal with it.


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43 Comments

The Woonsocket Rocket.

You should have asked him if he thinks coffee milk or Del's lemonade should be the state drink of Rhode Island.

Well yeah, last year we had 4 teams that were playoff caliber teams. 4 teams that if the right scenario happened could have been World Series caliber.

Even good-hearted Rocco knows the Orioles ain't worth shit.

So, Tek was coming on to you?

@Rob

He was thinking Rays-Sox-Yankees-METS. He gets AL and NL confused all the time, but knows his Easts from his Wests.

Somebody wake up Lloyd, I think he's passed out behind the copier in the Walkoff Walk offices.

Seriousy, how many shades of green with envy did Lloyd turn after reading this interview?

Lloyd should be happy--he can play the role of Rocco when Kris does his book tour.

Too bad he shot down your offer to make a sign

You just grit your teeth and deal with it. Sounds like Kris' saturday night!!

Good work though buddy.

Rocco thought a family of raccoons had knock over his trash cans. It turns out it was the Baseball Tonight crew. A heavier lid and some footage of a small market team should keep them away.

Sounds like you didn't trip over the IV. All in all a successful interview.

YES BUT HOW ARE HIS MITOCHONDRIA FEELING

Dunno, let me check their Livejournals.

Should have drawn a picture of shirtless Tek and put that on Rocco's locker. That'd keep the reporters guessing.

Rob, you really need to start pulling your weight around here, this is getting ridiculous.

Rob's interview with Rocco DiSpirito runs later this week.

I'm hoping for a Rocco Sifredi interview.

I interrupted him doing a crossword puzzle.

Rocco: Any of you guys know a 12 letter word for the powerhouses of the cell?

Now that this site is getting all professional-like I feel like I should wear pants when commenting.

@chief
I think it's mandatory to wear pants when commenting on posts with kids dressed up like lobsters and money sacks.

I'm only wearing pants when talking to Kris if I can be convinced the baseball players are affording him the same courtesy.

@Chief

It's only for a couple more weeks. You can take em off when the season starts and we start writing nonsense again.

@MDT

It's been a mixed bag, pardon the pun.

Uhhhh, the internet goes down at home and THIS IS WHAT I MISS????? Seems like a swell guy, worthy of my love.

@UU,

That interview would end with Rocco shoving Kris' head into a toilet bowl...in a purely sexual manner.

I think it's mandatory to wear pants when commenting on posts with kids dressed up like lobsters and money sacks.
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