InsideThePark.com: Stu, let's get your thoughts on the first half of the season.
Stu Paul: Well, needless to say, I'm very disappointed, but I see a lot of guys that are capable of playing better. I really thought that we had some pretty good offense, especially in the top part of the lineup. I think our outfield has been very impressive. I'm very impressed with both Dustin Delucchi and Shin-Soo Choo, they're both fine defensive players and they both have a lot of speed. I think that Choo certainly has a lot of potential, he has a lot of the tools, and for a guy his size, he does have some pretty decent power, especially going the opposite way.
The one thing I'm disappointed in is our pitching. I think our starting pitching just was not able to get anything together. There were a number of occasions where guys could not put anything together back-to-back until what I saw from the guys this week. I'm very impressed that we were able to close out this first half on a positive note with our starting pitching, but if we're going to win the second half, we're going to have to have our starting pitching and our hitting both working together.
ITP.com: You mentioned starting pitching. Do you think we should stick the starting pitching we have now or dip into Inland Empire and bring some guys up?
SP: It all depends on how the guys at Inland Empire do. I think if they're doing very well, then they deserve a chance. What kind of changes that Seattle will make, right now, it's hard to say. At this point, your guess is as good as mine. I'm impressed with what Chris Buglovsky has done in his two stints since coming off the DL. I think when he went down; the whole team sort of went down. Keep in mind, this is a very young pitching staff. I think these guys still need to learn to develop at this level. I am very impressed with the way T.A. Fulmer has come around, he's really showed that he can bounce back. I think that the rest of the staff has to pick it up a little bit more and if they don't get off to a good start in the second half, I do expect some changes.
ITP.com: Who do you think is the next position player to be called up?
SP: The way Shin-soo has been playing and hitting the ball, I think he might be the next person to be called up. He appears to be ready for Triple-A very soon. If he doesn't get the call this year, I think he's going to get the call next year. It's amazing for a guy who's only been playing pro ball for a few years, being in a foreign country and being 21 years of age; he has made a lot of adjustments so well. He loves the game; he has a passion for the game, I think that Choo definitely has the ability to make it to the Major Leagues very quickly so I think he's probably the next one to go.
ITP.com: What can we expect from this team in the second half?
SP: I think a better bullpen. Rick Guttormson has really done a great job and since Jared Thomas came back from extended spring training, he has shown that he is aggressive. I like what I see out of the bullpen. I think (Emiliano) Fruto has shown a lot of potential, If our bullpen can hold up and of course, if our pitching can hold up, we can really make a lot of noise in the division. That's the thing as far as we need, we just have to have better pitching and the way things ended in the first half, I like what I see as far as this being a prelude to the second half.
ITP.com: Let's change things up a bit. What do you enjoy most about broadcasting?
SP: I think the thing I like about broadcasting is the fact that I feel I'm doing a great service to the fans, to the sponsors, to the team and to the station. Also, I have a passion for sports. I wanted to be a ballplayer when I was growing up in New York City. At a certain age, I knew that it wasn't meant to be. I played some high school ball, but just as a fourth outfielder. I knew I had no chance to make it as a pro and I always enjoyed talking about sports and it's something that I really love. I feel I'm part of the team. I feel like when I broadcast a game, I'm actually playing it myself.
It's just so wonderful to do as many sports as I've done over the years, but baseball has always been number one to me. Having done it for so long and also having been considered for at least one Major League job, I just feel that this is something I want to do until I'm at least 80 or 85 years old, knock on wood, if my health holds up. Just going out there and the excitement, the pulsation of watching what develops out there on the field and it really keeps me going.
InsidethePark would like to thank Stu Paul for taking the time to sit down and answer our questions. We look forward to chatting with him again later in the season.
Q & A with Stu Paul, San Antonio Broadcaster
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