Quad Cities River Bandits Report: 04/10/08

Our Scout.com Quad Cities beat reporter Jon P. returns for another season covering the St. Louis Cardinals A-level Midwest League club. This week's report features an interview with pitcher Blake King.

It has been a start of ups and downs for the Quad Cities River Bandits.

With game one being rained out, the season started on Friday evening with a win. Shaun Garceau looked good on the mound considering the expected first night cobwebs. Pete Kozma started the season 2-for-2 but nobody expected him to keep that pace for the season!

Saturday was a down day. The Bandits dropped both games of a doubleheader to the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. David Carpenter reminded QC fans of last year's early star, Brandon Buckman.

Sunday afternoon's game found the Bandits' bats re-awakened and they pulled out another big win. On Monday, they spoiled the Cedar Rapids Kernels' hopes for a home opening win. Tuesday was another rainout.

Wednesday proved to give the Bandits more problems in another doubleheader. They dropped the first game 0-2 (the same score for each of their first three losses). In game two on Wednesday, errors proved costly again as the River Bandits fell 3- 0.

So far on the year Quad Cities have won all of their nine inning games and lost all of their seven inning doubleheaders. Their current record is 3-4.

This week's spotlight shines on Blake King, right-handed pitcher who will turn 21 years old this week. Blake played half of the season in the Quad Cities last year before finishing the season in Batavia. In a recent interview, Blake shared a few things about his baseball life and about his personal life.

Jon: Blake, when did you decide that you wanted to make baseball your profession instead of just your passion?

Blake: When I was a senior in high school. I started to realize that I could be drafted so I really started to work harder at it.

Jon: What is the best moment so far in your baseball career?

Blake: Winning our state championship in high school baseball was pretty cool.

Jon: Where did you go to high school?

Blake: Bishop Kelly High School in Oklahoma.

Jon: If you weren't a pitcher, what position would you play?

Blake: I like the hot corner. I'd play third base.

Jon: What's your favorite holiday?

Blake: It's got to be Christmas.

Jon: Why?

Blake: I have seventy first cousins so when we gather as a family, it's always a fun event. Everyone brings food and we have a great time.

Jon: Who is your non-baseball sports idol?

Blake: I'd have to say Tiger Woods. He's the man.

Jon: What's your favorite color?

Blake: It's blue.

Jon: Before you signed with the Cardinals, who was your favorite major league team?

Blake: (hanging his head) I have to say it was the Cubs and the Yankees.

Jon: OK… that does it… you can leave now. I can't believe this! (just kidding!) After your baseball career ends, what do you want to do for work?

Blake: I'd like to be a sports analyst at ESPN. I've always thought that would be a great job to have.

Jon: What do you like to do to stay busy in the off season?

Blake: I travel. I like to hang out with friends. That's my time to relax, really.

Jon: What time do you get out of bed in the morning?

Blake: Usually at about eleven.

Jon: What are you working on this season to improve your game?

Blake: I'm concentrating on consistency this year. Last year really helped with my mechanics and that's working. This year I want to put it all together.

Jon: Among the other players on the team, who is most like you as far as style of play?

Blake: I'd have to say it's Wayne Daman. We're both very competitive and we both throw real hard.

Jon: Who is your baseball idol?

Blake: It has to be Mickey Mantle since I'm a Yankees fan.

Jon: One last question. What do you want scout.com readers to know about you?

Blake: Well, I'm a very laid back kind of guy. I like to have a good time. I can be serious when I need to be, but I like to laugh and joke. I keep things lively and fun.

In the "Sportlight" this week:

Shaun Garceau has established his ownership of the inside of the plate—don't stand too close!

Although they've shown a lot of power, no one has recorded a home run yet—keep watch!

Beau Riportella hasn't got a hit yet—he's soon to break out.

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