Quad Cities River Bandits Report: 08/21/08

This week, our St. Louis Cardinals Midwest League club report features an interview with outfielder Tommy Pham.

This week, the Quad Cities River Bandits look like a team that doesn't want to win a spot in the playoffs. They played a great game in Beloit on Friday night but the rest of the week it looked like they were giving the last playoff spot to Beloit and Cedar Rapids. In the final two games against Burlington this week they only got seven hits total in the two games. It's easy to see why they are anxious to head for home; some of them have been playing since January. Arms are tired. Bodies are sore. Girlfriends and family are a long way away.


With the promotion of Brett Wallace to AA Springfield, it appears that the Cards' organization has decided that the Bandits don't have as good of a chance to make their playoffs as Springfield does. Fans from Davenport already miss his bat and wish him the best of luck. Jon Edwards spent a couple of days resting and recovering from some flu-like symptoms. He seems to be back to full strength.


This will be the last of the interviews that I post this season. Next week I'll start a recap of the year that has had 57 different names on our roster. That article might take a couple of weeks to complete.


This week I got to know Tommy Pham. I believe he is one of the most misunderstood players on the team this year. The "public" Tommy can come across as being gruff and less than friendly. When I sat down to share dinner with "just" Tommy, I met a very respectful and well-spoken young athlete. When I started talking about what I saw in his game that could be improved, he instantly started asking more and more like he truly wanted to learn all he can from anyone who will help him. I challenged him with talking about several topics and he kept pace all evening.


Here is what I got from him:


What is your favorite color?


It's gold.


What are you working to improve in your game this year?


Hitting. I have to get it consistent.


Where did you go to school?


Durango High School in Las Vegas.


What other player in the Cardinals' system are you most like as far as playing style?


I would say it's Daryl Jones. We're both fast outfielders who play all out.


What is your best moment in baseball so far?


We won a state championship when I was in high school. Oh, and when I was twelve I won the infield championship at Nationals. That was a great time.


What other sport would you play if you weren't playing baseball?


I'd play basketball.


When you were growing up, who was your baseball hero?


Derek Jeter.


What about other sports?


Michael Jordan.


What is your favorite meal?


I love seafood, especially crab legs.


Who was your favorite childhood team?


The Yankees, because of Jeter. But not anymore. Don't hold that against me!


Do you have any superstitions?




When you make it to MLB what uniform number do you want to wear?




On or off the field, who inspires you?


My mom and my grandma. They are both hard workers, especially when times are hard. They taught me a lot about life and I have a lot of respect for them both.


What do you like to do in the off-season?


I work out. I like to hang out with friends. It's good to relax and see a good movie.


What other position would you play if you weren't in the outfield?


I'd be a shortstop.


Do you have any tattoos?


I have one. It says T Pham going down my left arm.


What about phobias?


I don't like heights.


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


I'd be a Bentley Coupe. It's fast AND it's luxurious.


What is your favorite Baseball movie?


For Love of the Game. And Bull Durham. And The Natural. All of my favorite movies are baseball movies!


Do you have a preference for sports gear brands?


Nike; they have the most variety available that's affordable for just about everyone.


If you could have an intro song at the stadium, what would it be?


Anything by Fabolous—it's rap.


What else do you want readers to know about you?


I work hard. I have a twin sister. And most importantly, my hitting IS going to come around. I'm going it make it!



Deal this week


Tommy Pham is getting his bat back, just in time for the season's end.


Deryk Hooker has had a couple of solid outings on the mound.



No Deal this week


As mentioned above, the entire team is looking tired. I can't blame them.



On the watch list


As the season winds to its end soon, I'll be going into my annual "leave me alone, baseball is over" funk. I know I'm not very fun to be around in September. When October arrives, I'll cheer up long enough for the World Series and then I start counting the days until Spring Training.


Watch for my season recaps coming soon.



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