Monday, January 22, 2007

Ryan Shealy Interview

During the Royals Caravan stop in Omaha last Wednesday, I had a chance to do a brief interview with Royals first baseman, Ryan Shealy.

Q: Since Doug Mientkiewicz signed with the Yankees recently, you've got to feel pretty good about the confidence the Royals have in you.

A: For me, it was just great to have a chance to play. For so many years over in Colorado I was behind (Todd) Helton, so coming over here, just being in a fresh environment and having a chance to actually you said, it builds confidence and it's something that I hope to build on this year.

Q: Ross Gload will probably back you up at first base. Any indications whether that is true or not?

A: I'm not really...I know he's a left-handed bat and I'm a right-handed bat, and I know he's played a little bit of outfield. He's been a solid player for years now too. He was actually with Colorado. We were both sort of in the same boat behind Helton. He's a good player. He'll get his at bats somehow, but I feel like if I do what I can do, then I shouldn't have anything to worry about.

Q: You've always hit for power, but I think Royals fans were a little surprised by your glove work last season. You only had three errors in a Royals uniform in 51 games. Is your defense something you pride yourself in?

You know, it is certainly something that hasn't come easy. I work on it as much as I can throughout the course of the season and during the offseason. It is something I take pride in and something I can still improve on and something I plan on improving on.

Q: Did you have a chance to work with Doug Mientkiewicz one on one last season?

A: I asked him a few questions. He was real good about talking. As far as right-handed first basemen go, he's about as good as they get defensively. It was good to pick his brain because he's very good defensively.

Q: What do you think about the offseason moves the Royals have made?

A: I think it's been great. It shows that we're committed to getting better and committed to winning. They were definitely moves we needed to make. We're in a tough division. There's a few teams that are battling each other each year, so hopefully for years to come we're going to be right in the thick of things.

Q: Do you think there is a good balance on the team right now between veterans and less experienced players?

A: Yeah. That was one of the biggest things I noticed when I got over here. Between Grudzielanek and Reggie Sanders and Mientkiewicz for a little bit, and Paul Bako--the guys we had here last year were good older guys. Grudzielanek will be back and Reggie will be back and those guys, as a young player, they are going to help you because they've seen everything there is to see. I would pick Grud's brain all the time because we played right next to each other, so I think it's a good mix. And then on the flip side, you've got Teahen who is starting to establish himself, and hopefully I'll do some good things. Alex Gordon is waiting in the wings. In my opinion, it is a very good mix.

Q: So, the pieces are coming together?

A: Looks like it.

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