Swing of the Quad Cities Report – Week 20

Our exclusive weekly report on the 2007 edition of the Swing of the Quad Cities of the Single-A Midwest League features an interview with outfielder Antone DeJesus.

As the Midwest League heads into the home stretch, the Swing of the Quad Cities are gearing up for a run at the playoffs. They are currently in first place by a margin of 4 ½ games over Beloit, Cedar Rapids, and Peoria. Two games have been rained out already this week. If the rains hold off, Thursday will be an important doubleheader against Clinton. QC has already dropped two games to Clinton this week so they need to get the bats in the game early for these two games.


Having won seven of their last ten games, the double loss to Clinton was a real shock this week. It's this writer's opinion that the team has gotten into a pattern of scoring only late in the game and the shortened games of the doubleheader didn't leave enough innings for the team to pull out the win. With four games scheduled this week against Cedar Rapids, they'll have to be in top form.


This week's interviewee is Antone DeJesus. He was ALL grins this week as he hit his first home run. It was special that it was his first, and more special because Antone's mom was in the stadium catching the whole thing on video. Currently batting .268, only five of his 33 hits have been for extra bases. This surprised me, considering his speed. Antone is one of the Swing's late-game power hitters; he may need to get up earlier. Here's the interview:


Jon: Antone, what is your best moment in baseball so far?


Antone: My high school baseball team won the national championship. And we were SEC champs when I was at Kentucky. Those are good memories.


Jon: Who in baseball do you try to emulate in your playing style?


Antone: Um… ME!!  Andruw Jones is one of my favorite players…


Jon: Antone, when I go to work, it is often a daily grind to get my job done. You play baseball for a job. How do you keep the fun of the game balanced with the day to day grind of the job?


Antone: This is NOT a job!! A job is boring! This is my favorite thing in the world. If I could be anywhere in the world, I would be here doing what I'm doing. I get so much energy from this.


Jon: What's the best part of playing baseball for a living?


Antone: It's a fun atmosphere. People come out to watch us play and they cheer for us! It's a step up from short season, so it's a step closer to The Show.


Jon: What's the worst thing about it?


Antone: It's class A ball. I want to move up.


Jon: What are you working on this year in your game? What needs the most improvement?


Antone: It's got to be my approach at the plate. I need to be mentally consistent and not let anything distract me from my game. And I need to keep my defense up to par. I do that through maintaining my strength.


Jon: In a worst case scenario, if you were unable to make a living in baseball, what would you do for a career instead of playing baseball?


Antone: Hmmm, I'm not sure. I'd go back to the University of Kentucky to finish my degree in communications. Then I'd move somewhere warm so I could live near the beach.


Jon: What are your hobbies when you aren't at the stadium?


Antone: Music. Lots of music! And I used to play basketball but I have to be real careful with that now, since I don't want to risk my baseball career. I love to watch basketball, too, since I don't get to play.


Jon: I have one more question for you, Antone. If everything falls into place just the way you want it to, when will you be playing your first game in St. Louis?


Antone: I give myself three years. That gives me time to develop my skills at each level and then I'll be ready. Of course, if they move me up faster, I'm willing!


Swinging this week:


In the last 30 days, Jaime Landin has batted .571. Yes, I said .571!! He has raised his average by .064 in just 30 days.


Steven Hill ended a 15 game hitting streak on Sunday but is still blasting the ball on a regular basis.


Daryl Jones stays on the hot list even though his batting average has dipped a few points.


Kyle Mura has really stepped into his role as a late reliever in his past few outings. He is now at 5-0 on the season with an ERA of only 1.60.


Special congratulations go to Kenny Maiques as he has logged 29 saves on the season. That's an all-time Quad Cities record. He hopes to get six more before the season ends.


Missing this week:


Tim Dorn is back from the DL but he's just not living up to the expectations that were set at the time of his arrival. His BA is only .171.


Oliver Marmol has been here for 17 games so he should be acclimated to this league. Limited playing time has him at a mere .170.


Jared Schweitzer had an MRI this week and the news was bad. A partially torn ligament in his elbow needs surgery and he is likely to be out for the rest of the season. He was hitting .290 so he'll be missed during the play-off bid.


Shaun Garceau and Elvis Hernandez both have ERA's over four. This late in the season, that's not acceptable. Considering Garceau's age, he's likely to be back here to start next season but I'm not sure about the fate of the Mosquito.


On the watch list this week:


Marco Gonzalez has the bandage off his left arm and is beginning light workouts. He hopes to be ready to throw again for the playoffs.


Mike Schellinger was tapped for an unexpected start in game two of this week's doubleheader. He threw well and looked very comfortable back in the starter's role. I doubt that there will be a change in the starting lineup, but I'm watching anyway.


Tyler Henley has been added to the Swing roster to replace Jared Schweitzer. He was the Cardinals' eighth round pick this summer.


Friday night this week is the first of two "Buy the Shirt off his Back" jersey auctions. It's also Vegas night. Fans who want a chance to win a trip to Vegas will have to bring their luggage to the game. The winner will be announced 29 minutes before he or she will leave the Quad Cities Airport for a weekend in Vegas. I've heard rumors that the team will be wearing a "Vegas style" jersey with a modified script name on the front. Then on August 31, the team will be wearing St. Louis Browns jerseys to be auctioned at the end of the game. Both auctions are to benefit children's research and heart health programs at the local hospitals.


Next week is the last week before the end of our regular season. I'll be talking to Jaime Landin for an interview.



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