Tony Richie: Jake and I have such a good relationship here. It works out well rotating starts, especially with the heat down here. Now we're getting chances to DH to give us more at-bats. It seems like we feed off each other. If one of us is hitting good, it seems the other one is, too, and vice-versa. We're both trying to keep up with one another. It's like a competition.
Inside The Ivy: Is there ever any added pressure on you with that competition?
Tony Richie: No, you go out there and do your best. Whatever happens, happens. I guess everybody has pressure of some sort. It's not any pressure with him being here, though; it's just baseball. The real pressure comes when you're in the batters box trying to hit 90 mph fastballs, or when you're behind the plate trying to throw runners out.
Inside The Ivy: One thing the scouts always bring up when analyzing you is your solid defense. How satisfied or not are you with that this season?
Tony Richie: I'd like to be as well-rounded as possible. Defense has always been solid for me, so it's been the main priority for me: making sure the pitchers trust me and making sure our team is rolling well. The big thing here is the tempo of the game. Sometimes we get stuck in a long game that tends to drag on for a few hours. I think a good defensive catcher always takes control of his team, and I feel that's one of my stronger suits: keeping the guys in line and leading by example.
Inside The Ivy: Being a Seminole alumnus, is there more relaxation playing in Florida this season than a place like Boise?
Tony Richie: I'm used to the weather. It's nice, because my family comes down and we live only an hour apart. I like playing in Florida, because the weather is great and in this league, you never have to leave the state. It's very comfortable.
Inside The Ivy: With you being drafted two years ago, is Daytona where you imagined yourself heading into this season?
Tony Richie: Well, going to Lansing that first year, I was obviously hoping to go to Daytona instead, but I had a little shoulder problem in Spring Training last year. It was tough to be in extended spring training last year knowing I could play with everyone else, but I had to prove myself. I'm happy with where I am now, and I'm very glad to be in Daytona.
Inside The Ivy: Tell us about that shoulder problem. You also underwent surgery in college at FSU.
Tony Richie: Yeah, I had surgery in college and it's been flaring up here and there ever since. I don't think I was that prepared last season. It was my first Spring Training and we did a lot of throwing. I recently changed my workout program in the offseason to keep my arm stronger. I've always said that catchers throw more than any other player, position or pitching.
Inside The Ivy: You flexed some home run power in college, but it hasn't really showed up since you were drafted. Does that ever concern you?
Tony Richie: I think it's a work in progress. In college, they would always tinker with my swing because of the aluminum bats. This year, I haven't hit many homers, but I'm hitting the ball well because I'm using my body more and swinging with my legs more. I'm not overly worried about it.
Inside The Ivy: We know you're running short and have to get to BP. Thanks for taking time out to join us.
Tony Richie: Anytime. Nice chatting.