After winning "most improved" at the Oakland A's 2011 Instructional camp, Cecil Tanner was poised for a strong 2012 campaign. A spring training injury limited Tanner to only five innings in 2012, however. With a 6'7'' frame and an upper-90s fastball, Tanner cuts an intimidating presence on the mound.
Donald Moore spoke with the Georgia native about his 2012 campaign and his goals for the future.
Donald Moore: How is everything going this year for you?
Cecil Tanner: Everything is going really good so far. I got hurt during spring training, so I'm definitely excited to get up here and kind of get my first feel of being out in the city. Everything has been really good. So far we are struggling a little bit right now, but everything is going good so far. Everybody is really good. I'm just trying to get used to everything, kind of get myself into the schedule and what it's going to be like from every level up from here.
DM: What do you like best about being a professional ballplayer?
CT: Still a lot of fun and you get to live what you always wanted to do when you were a little kid. No school is the nice part. Being away from college is the nice part, and you get to come out here everyday, and the only thing you have to worry about is getting better on the field and help your teammates win. It's really nice to see all the kids run around and it's fun. Even when things get kind of get in a grind, you look out there and you remember yourself as a little kid who wanted to play baseball, and that puts things in perspective.
DM: What would you like to improve on?
CT: Definitely improve on my consistency and my command. Just consistency with my delivery and I'm struggling a little bit with my fastball. Hopefully everything will work out after that.
DM: What is your greatest strength as a player?
CT: I'm pretty aggressive on the mound and when I'm right, I can strike a lot of people out, so I'm just trying to be more aggressive on the mound and try to go after hitters. Force contact early and if not, finish them off late.
DM: Any relation to Chuck Tanner, the former A's and Bucs manager?
CT: No, not that I know of.
DM: Any pregame routines?
CT: Nothing much, but I listen to music. That's about it.
DM: Any hobbies?
CT: During the off season I fish a lot. I don't hunt that much. Fishing, and I go camping a little bit with my friends.
DM: Favorite team growing up?
CT: The Atlanta Braves.
DM: Favorite player?
CT: Chipper Jones.
DM: If there is one person that taught you the most about baseball, who would that be?
CT: It would be my Grandad. He taught my dad, my dad kind of taught me and my Grandad was always the first person to call me after every game, no matter what if I did or bad or not. It was real bad when I know I did bad, because I was going to get in a lot trouble. It's kind of weird. He just passed away this past year, so it's kind of different now, but he was definitely the biggest influence on me.
DM: Craziest thing you ever saw on a diamond?
CT: I saw an unassisted triple play in college, that was about it.
DM: Where do you see yourself five years from now?
CT: Hopefully playing in Oakland. That's the goal for everybody so just keep working and try to work towards that. That would be my dream. Play with the team that drafted you and started off with. I think that's really cool when people make it all the way up with their original team. I have a lot of respect for players that do that.
DM: Cecil, thank for your time and the best of luck to you.
CT: Thanks, Don.