Exclusive: Scott Thorman Interview
The Braves Show: Scott Thorman promoted to Atlanta
SHANKS: Tell me how you were told about the promotion to Atlanta.
THORMAN: I had just come in from some early work and Snit (Richmond Manager Brian Snitker) called me into his office and congratulated me and told me I was coming up. He looked all serious, like he usually does. (Richmond coach) Rick Albert was in there as well. But Snit said, "I just got off the phone with Frank Wren. Congratulations you're going to Atlanta." Then I kind of looked at him and we looked at each other and he gave me a big hand shake and a bear hug and I kind of went around the room doing that.
SHANKS: Did you have any idea when you were going in there that you were getting ready to be told that?
THORMAN: I think I had probably just come in from making a sandwich or drinking a drink or something. Rick Albert said, "Hey, come here." I kind of looked at him. Generally when you are called into the manager's office it can go both ways. The last few times it's been great news for a lot of guys. So he called me in, and I thought about it, and thought, "No that's not what it is. It must be something else." So I went in there and obviously it was great news.
SHANKS: Scott with the combination of the way you had been playing and the way Atlanta had been playing, had you thought about this a lot in the last few days?
THORMAN: I'd be lying if I said I didn't think about it. But it's kind of one of those things. You don't want to get your hopes up. You don't want to let it consume your day because it would probably do more harm than good. But at the same time you start to think about it and hope things work out in your favor. I was hoping this year would be a matter of time. I got off to a pretty good start. Obviously, with the way things were going up there I was hoping they might give me a chance. I figured at the least it would happen in September, but I'm glad it's come early.
SHANKS: And you've been pretty much on the half season plan the last couple of years, starting in one level and moving up. So I guess it was about time for you to get that call to head up to the next level.
THORMAN: Kelly (his wife) and I are getting pretty good at packing up and leaving. This is definitely the most exciting move, that's for sure.
SHANKS: 15 home runs and 44 RBI. When you went back there to Richmond did you think you had to prove to them that you were close to being ready and then with your performance have you proved that you are, in fact, ready?
THORMAN: Well I think you just have to wait for your turn. I'd like to think that I've gotten better every year, and I think that's a testament to the whole organization - the coaching staffs in player development. Every year they give me a chance to succeed and put me in the lineup, and fortunately the last two years I've done what I've needed to do and they've promoted me. So this is the next step and we'll see what happens.
SHANKS: Have you ever felt more comfortable at the plate?
THORMAN: Probably not. I feel pretty good right now, which is nice to come in on a high. Obviously, who knows what will happen, but I'll give it my best shot and do what I can to help this team win. As far as my role, I'm still not exactly sure what that is.
SHANKS: Left field - how have you been doing out there?
THORMAN: It's been going okay. I think the more I play the more comfortable I feel out there. It's kind of been a crash course a little bit the last three weeks or so, just to go out there every day and see what happens. It's a work in progress, there's no question about that. But I'm starting to feel comfortable out there doing the early work. The opportunity to play everyday, which is what it's all about in the minor leagues, and I appreciate all that. If they have me play left in Atlanta, I'd like to think I'm ready.
SHANKS: Has it pretty much been left field for the last three weeks?
THORMAN: With the exception of about four games, it's been left field just about every day. I think maybe fifteen or sixteen games total I've been out there.
SHANKS: Scott did you call your mom?
THORMAN: I called my wife. I called my mom. I called some family friends. It's been an exciting time. I've been on the phone all day. I think I found out about 4:00 or so. I was just ready to go out and stretch when they called me in.
SHANKS: What did your mom say?
THORMAN: She was excited and she cried a little bit. It was kind of a nice father's day present.
SHANKS: Six years ago, almost to the day, you were heading to the Gulf Coast League to start your pro career. This has been a steady climb up the minor league ladder.
THORMAN: I'm more ready now than I was a year or two ago. It's exciting. It feels like the next step. It's a comforting feeling. For a long time I wondered how I would feel, whether I would be nervous or scared, but right now it's a comforting feeling. That's where all my friends are, so I look forward to playing with them again.
SHANKS: Scott you know that with the team losing six in a row and being in the worst rut in fifteen years, there may be a little pressure on you coming in as the new guy, especially with how well the rookies did last year. THORMAN: I never thought about it that way. Thanks for bringing that up. (Laughs) You know it is what it is. I feel ready. Obviously the team feels I'm ready. We'll just see what happens. All I can do is do my best and see what happens.
SHANKS: But since the team is looking for a spark, you know you'll be looked at since you will be the new guy on the roster.
THORMAN: That's fine. That's expected. I think that's the case anytime, no matter how well the team is playing. But it's time to start winning some ballgames, and I hope that's what gets them going. But all I can do is show up and play and do what I can when I can and help the team win.
Bill Shanks is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team, a look inside the Braves‘ traditional scouting and player development philosophies. He can also be heard regularly on the Braves Radio Network. Email Bill at email@example.com.