Quad Cities River Bandits Report: 05/15/08

Our Scout.com Quad Cities beat reporter Jon P. returns with his weekly report on the St. Louis Cardinals A-level Midwest League club. This week, we feature an interview with pitcher Josh Wilson.

After digging a deep ditch with a five game skid, the Quad Cities River Bandits are showing that they are not going to give up. Wednesday night they went to Peoria to face Ryne Sandburg and the Chiefs. They came home with a doubleheader sweep, lifting their record back to two games over .500.


It was my privilege this week to sit down with another one of the River Bandits' most recent additions, Josh Wilson.  Josh is truly a "southern gentleman." As a bit of an enigma, Josh lives his entire life as a left hander—except for playing ball. We got to spend a little more time in and interview than I normally take, and I think it was time well spent.


Jon: Josh, welcome to the Quad Cities! You might already know that readers at Scout.com are very well-versed on baseball stats and standings, so I like to give them more than just the facts when it comes to your baseball life. If you don't mind, I'm going to ask some rapid fire questions that will show the readers more about who you are rather than just what you do on the field.


Josh: Fire away!

Jon: What's your favorite holiday?


Josh: I'd say it's Christmas. I'm close with my family and we always get together at Christmas time.


Jon: Favorite color?


Josh: Cardinal Red, of course!


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


Josh: Shortstop.


Jon: What part of your game are you working to improve in 2008?


Josh: First and foremost, I want to stay healthy. I'm working to be more consistent with my fastball.


Jon: Where did you go to school?


Josh: Whitehouse High School in Tyler, Texas.


Jon: Since you've only been here a few days, this might be difficult; but who else on the team would you say is most like you as far as playing style?


Josh: (LONG pause to think) I really don't know… that's tough! I guess I'd say that I'm a lot like Mark Diapoules. His sinker is better than mine, but we both work to pound the fastball. We're both pretty quiet and keep to ourselves.


Jon: What's the best thing that has happened to you so far in your baseball life?


Josh: I'd say it's my recent call up to play here. It has really been a mental struggle to get back. I see it as a great personal accomplishment to work hard and return to the game.


Jon: When you retire from baseball, what do you want to do for a career?


Josh: I want to coach a college team somewhere.


Jon: What is the best thing about being in minor league baseball?


Josh: It's a great opportunity to travel and see places that I've never been—to see the country.


Jon: The worst?


Josh: Living out of a suitcase, waking up in a different hotel every week.


Jon: Who is your baseball hero?


Josh: Juan Gonzalez. I've always been a Rangers fan.


Jon: Outside of baseball, who's your sports hero?


Josh: Lance Armstrong.


Jon: What time do you get up in the morning?


Josh: Usually around 9:00 AM. I have to get a good breakfast.


Jon: What's your favorite meal?


Josh: Steak.


Jon: Do you have any superstitions?


Josh: No, not really any superstitions, but I do have a daily routine that I follow. If I don't follow it, it can be bad.


Jon: When you get to the Majors, what number do you want to wear?


Josh: I really don't care. As long as I'm there, I'll wear 00 or 99 or anything in between.


Jon: What's your favorite beverage?


Josh: Dr. Pepper.


Jon: What do you like to do to relax during the off season?


Josh: I hang out on the boat as much as I can. I like to do some waterskiing and wakeboarding. Mostly anything that I can spend time with my family.


Jon: Since you've already seen two of the stadiums in the Midwest League, where do you think the best stadium is?


Josh: (chuckles) It has got to be Dayton.


Jon: Do you have any tattoos?


Josh: I have two.


Jon: Do you have any fears or phobias?


Josh: Hmmm… spiders… and wasps.


Jon: If you were a car, what kind of car would you be?


Josh: Wow, this really isn't a typical baseball interview! I'd be a Corvette.


Jon: What is your favorite baseball movie?


Josh: I have two favorites; Bull Durham and For Love of the Game.


Jon: What name brand is your choice for sports wear?


Josh: I'd have to say Nike.


Jon: If they would play an intro song for you at the stadium, what would you choose?


Josh: It would be Hot Topic by Teflon.


Jon: Finally, Josh, what else do you want Scout.com readers to know about you?


Josh: I want them to know that I'm finally healthy, I'm going to stay healthy, and I'm working as hard as I can to get to St. Louis as fast as I can.


Jon: Thanks, Josh, and welcome again to the Quad Cities.





Tommy Pham joined the team again this week after a less-than-stellar showing here for about a month last spring. This year, he has been the lead-off batter in two games. In his first at bat with the Bandits, he hit a homer on the very first pitch. Last night, again as the lead-off batter, he took two pitches and hit another bomb! Then in game two, he went yard for the third time in three games. Welcome back, Tommy!


Pete Kozma is back in control, showing his speed and his hitting skills. He hit .600+ in a recent three-game series.


Thomas Eager has settled in and threw a good start Tuesday night.


No Deal


Adron Chambers was placed on the disabled list Tuesday night after a week of being absent without explanation. This has never been a good sign for struggling players.


Cardoza Tucker, Jr. has an ERA of 6.98—coming in as a free-agent signee, he needs to step it up.


Other news


The River Bandits announced a new use for the stadium today. For the rest of the summer, whenever the Bandits are on the road on a Saturday night, the stadium will become a movie theater! They are showing baseball related, family movies on the big-screen scoreboard. Admission is only $5.00.


Last week, in the midst of a five game skid, the team wore throwback Bandits jerseys and then auctioned them for a worthy local charity. I'm glad to say that I was able to buy Brian Broderick's. 


The guys are in the middle of a seven game stretch of commuter trips—four in Peoria and three in Burlington. They must be ready to get back home.


I'll be going to Des Moines for a couple of Redbirds games right after Memorial Day. I hope to get an interview with Colby Rasmus. Let me know on the forum if you have any questions that you want me to ask.



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