SHANKS: Tell me how you learned about the trade to Atlanta.
MERCKER: Our General Manager in Cincinnati called me and said there was a possibility there was a trade they had it working. Didn't know if it was going to happen for sure. About an hour later he called me and said it had happened. I was excited. A chance to play for a winner let alone a place I've been and spent some of my career here. I'm excited.
SHANKS: You've really developed a niche as a lefty reliever. How do you like it?
MERCKER: It's fun coming to the park knowing you have a chance to play everyday. You know you just go as hard as you can. You're not going to be out there for a hundred plus pitches. You just come in and challenge guys and let it go. That's kind of my makeup anyway. There's good days and bad days. Hopefully more good than bad.
SHANKS: Was it tough to leave the Braves after 1995?
MERCKER: Yea it was. I had a lot of good friends here. I didn't know any other place. This is where I spent my first six and a half years. It's always tough to leave some place especially when you won like we did. I'm back and I'm excited.
SHANKS: In 1995, John Schuerholz brought back Alejandro Pena for his second stint with this club and he helped the Braves win the World Series. Your situation seems similar.
MERCKER: Well I hope. I hope I can do as well as Alejandro did for us that year. Like I said I'm happy to be here and hope to chip in and help them win.
SHANKS: You were in the rotation with John Smoltz for a few years, and now the two of you will be together again in the bullpen. How does that feel?
MERCKER: It's going to be great man. Smoltzie's a great guy. Its one of those guys I missed playing with when I was here. It's going to be great to be back around him and learn off him.
Mercker Happy to be back with Braves
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